Objective To examine the ability of the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score to predict the risk of mortality in trauma patients with cirrhosis. Although cirrhosis is associated with poor outcomes after injury, the relative effect of the severity of the cirrhosis on outcomes is unclear. The MELD score is a prospectively developed and validated scoring system, which is associated with increasing severity of hepatic dysfunction and risk of death in patients with chronic liver disease.
Design Retrospective review. The MELD score for each patient was calculated from the international normalized ratio, the serum creatinine level, and the serum total bilirubin level obtained from the patient at admission to the level 1 trauma center. The association of MELD score with mortality was assessed using logistic regression analysis.
Setting Level 1 trauma center.
Patients Cirrhotic patients with trauma admitted to the level 1 trauma center during the period from January 2003 to December 2009.
Main Outcome Measure Mortality.
Results During the 7-year study period, 285 injured cirrhotic patients were admitted. The mean (SD) age was 50.0 (10.5) years, and the mean (SD) MELD score was 11.7 (4.8) (range, 6-28). Overall, patients who died had a significantly higher mean (SD) MELD score than did survivors (14.1 [5.4] vs 11.2 [4.6]; P < .001). The MELD score and the injury severity score were statistically significant risk factors that were independently associated with mortality in this group of patients (the area under the curve for the model was 0.944; cumulative R2 = 0.545). Each unit increase in the MELD score was associated with an 18% increase in the odds for mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 1.18 [95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.29]; P < .001).
Conclusion The MELD score is a simple objective tool for risk stratification in cirrhotic patients who have sustained injury.