Increased access to liver transplantation for patients with acute on chronic liver failure after implementation of Share 35 Rule: An analysis from the UNOS database

Sobia N. Laique, Nan Zhang, Winston R. Hewitt, Jasmohan Bajaj, Hugo E. Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction and objectives: Acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF), leads to high mortality. These patients are at risk of being delisted for liver transplantation (LT). Emerging data shows 1y post-transplant survival of 80–92%. The Share 35 (S35) policy was implemented to prioritize patients with MELD ≥35 on the LT waitlist. Our aim was to compare the LT outcomes of ACLF patients as a result of S35. Materials and methods: Data from the UNOS scientific registry were used to classify ACLF patients using the NACSELD criteria. For the analyses, data were divided into two eras; 2 years before S35 (Era 1) and 2 years after S35 (Era 2). Waitlist status was classified into categories: Transplanted, Death or Too Sick to Transplant and Still Waiting/Other. LT cumulative incidence between the populations in the eras was calculated using Fine and Gray's method. A proportional hazards model was used to investigate the era effect on cumulative incidence of LT. Results: 46,861 patients were reviewed, of which 817 had ACLF. 366 patients (mean MELD: 37.1) were identified in Era 1 and 451 patients (mean MELD: 37.3) in Era 2. We found that ACLF patients were more likely to receive a liver transplant in Era 2 (p = 0.0074). In both eras, transplanted patients had a significantly higher survival than those who were not transplanted (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Our study shows that S35 improved LT rate for ACLF suggesting that there should be broader recognition of ACLF and early transplantation should be pursued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100288
JournalAnnals of hepatology
Volume23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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