MELD Calculator (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease)

Created by Bogna Szyk
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Last updated: Sep 21, 2021

This MELD calculator (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease calculator) finds the MELD score to prioritize patients with end-stage liver disease for transplant planning. It is not suitable for children under the age of 12. Keep reading to learn what is the MELD score formula, what lab tests it requires, how to use it and how to interpret it.

What is the MELD score?

The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) system is used to prioritize patients waiting for a liver transplant. This numerical scale is used for adult patients waiting for a transplant. The MELD score ranges from 1 to 40 (gravely ill). The individual score tells you what is the urgency of undergoing a liver transplant during the next 90 days (three months).

Laboratory tests required

If you want to calculate your MELD score, you will need to know some of your blood test results. Make sure that the results are recent.

  • Creatinine — First of all, you need to know your creatinine level in mg/dL. This is an indicator of kidney malfunction and is also required by our GFR calculator. Normal levels of creatinine in blood are approximately 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL in adult males and 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL in adult females. If you underwent dialysis twice during the last week, or 24 hours of CVVHD, you should set this value to 4 mg/dL.
  • Bilirubin — It is a yellow pigment that is in everyone’s blood and stool. Normal values of total bilirubin are from 0.3 to 1.0 mg/dL.
  • INR — The INR is a test of blood clotting. The result is given as a number with no units of measurement, as a ratio of the sample’s prothrombin time (PT — a measure of clotting), to the prothrombin time of a normal sample of blood. A result of 1.0 up to 1.5, is considered normal.
  • Sodium — The serum sodium test, also referred to as Na+ test, tells you the level of sodium in your blood. This MELD calculator caps the levels of sodium with the lower limit of 125 and upper limit of 137 mEq/L or mmol/L.

MELD score formula

There are actually two formulas for estimating the MELD score. The original one is still used in non-US transplant societies. The new, improved formula was introduced in January 2016 to include the serum sodium level.

The original formula is:

MELDScore = 10 * [(0.957 * ln(Creatinine)) + (0.378 * ln(Bilirubin)) + (1.12 * ln(INR))] + 6.43

The MELD score equation that incorporates sodium level bases on this formula and is:

MELDScore(2016) = MELDScore + 1.32 * (137 - sodium) - 0.033 * MELDScore * (137 - sodium)

MELD score interpretation

Your result will fall in the range between 1 and 40. Basing on this result, our MELD score calculator predicts the 90-day mortality:

  • MELD score equal to 40: 71.3% mortality
  • MELD score between 30 and 39: 52.6% mortality
  • MELD score between 20 and 29: 19.6% mortality
  • MELD score between 10 and 19: 6.0% mortality
  • MELD score equal or less than 9: 1.9% mortality
Bogna Szyk
Bilirubin
mg/dL
Creatinine
mg/dL
INR
Sodium
mmol/L
Using the original formula
MELD score
Mortality
%
Using the improved formula
MELD score
Mortality
%
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