Liver re-transplantation generally has an inferior outcome compared with a patient's first transplant, due to the technical demands of the surgery and because patients are often sicker than they were at the time of their first procedure.
UCLA researchers, basing their work on 26 years worth of patient data from UCLA, sought to develop a scoring system for risk stratification of patients in need of a liver re-transplant, in the hopes of improving patient selection for scarce livers.
They identified eight risk factors for potential re-transplantation failure and, using mathematical modeling, developed a risk scoring system ranging from 0 to 12 to gauge the risk of re-transplantation failure.
The predictive index can help guide physicians in determining the potential risk to patients of liver re-transplantation and can provide patients with risk/benefit information during the informed consent process.
The research is published in the September issue of the journal Annals of Surgery.