MELD-score for risk stratification in cardiac surgery

Pathare P, Elbayomi M, Weyand M, Griesbach C, Harig F (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


DOI: 10.1007/s00380-023-02262-9


The outcome of the patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is also influenced by the renal and hepatic organ functions. Risk stratification, using scores such as EURO Score II or STS Short-Term Risk Calculator for patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, ignores the quantitative renal and hepatic function; therefore, MELD-Score was applied in these cases. We retrospectively examined patient data using the MELD score as a predictor of mortality. To perform a univariate analysis of the data, patients were classified into three groups based on the MELD Score: MELD < 10 (Group 1), MELD 10 to 19 (Group 2), and MELD ≥ 20 (Group 3). A total of 11,477 participants were included in the study, though several patients with either missing MELD scores or lack of creatinine, bilirubin, or INR levels were dropped from the original cohort. Eventually, 10,882 patients were included in the analysis. The primary outcome was defined as postoperative, in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes such as postoperative bleeding, including the requirement for repeat thoracotomy, postoperative neurological complications, and assessment of catecholamines on weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass/ requirement of mechanical circulatory support were examined. A higher MELD score was associated with increased postoperative mortality. Patients with MELD > 20 experienced a 31.2% postoperative mortality, compared to Group 1 (4.6%) and Group 2 (17.5%). The highest rates of postoperative bleeding (13.8%) and, repeat thoracotomy (13.2%) & postoperative pneumonia (17.4%) were seen in Group 3 (threefold increase when compared to Group 1, renal failure requiring dialysis (N = 235, 2.7% in Group 1 v/s N = 78, 22.9% in Group 3) or requiring high dose catecholamines post-operatively or mechanical circulatory support (IABP/ECLS). Incidentally, an increased MELD Score was not associated with a significant increase in the postoperative incidence of stroke/TIA or the presence of sternal wound infections/complications. A higher mortality was observed in patients with reduced liver and renal function, with a significant increase in patients with a MELD score > 20. As the current risk stratification scores do not consider this, we recommend applying the MELD score before considering patients for cardiac surgery.

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Pathare, P., Elbayomi, M., Weyand, M., Griesbach, C., & Harig, F. (2023). MELD-score for risk stratification in cardiac surgery. Heart and Vessels.


Pathare, Presheet, et al. "MELD-score for risk stratification in cardiac surgery." Heart and Vessels (2023).

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