Penn Medicine uses the MELD scoring system to prioritize liver transplant cases. However, other considerations are taken into account such as severe symptoms that are affecting quality of life and other factors not reflected in the MELD score.
Who Can Receive a Liver from a Live Donor?
The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease, or MELD, is a scoring system used for prioritizing allocation of liver transplants and is based on how sick the patient is, with sicker patients having priority. However, Penn recognizes that many patients have symptoms that severely impact their quality of life, yet are not reflected in their MELD score. Living donation offers patients the option of transplant prior to getting very sick, regardless of their MELD score.
Most patients who are candidates for liver transplantation may also be considered for adult-to-adult living donor transplantation; however, patients with certain conditions may not benefit from a liver from a live donor. For this reason, each recipient must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Penn Transplant Institute's living donor program benefits recipients by:
- Being the most experienced live donor liver transplant program in the the Delaware Valley
- Significantly decreasing the time they wait for a liver
- Knowing the quality of the donor liver
- Allowing surgery to be scheduled at a time that is optimal for the recipient and convenient for the donor
- Providing better outcomes – Recent studies have shown that, in general, recipients of living donor liver transplants have better outcomes and improved organ function as compared to deceased donor transplants. 
 Ann Surg. 2005 Sep;242(3):314-23, discussion 323-5