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Golla, Kathrin; Mannell, Hanna; Benesic, Andreas; Dreischulte, Tobias; Grill, Eva and Strobach, Dorothea (2022): Feasibility of the MELD score as a screening tool for pharmacists to identify patients with impaired hepatic function at hospital admission. In: Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Vol. 47, No. 5: pp. 676-684 [PDF, 921kB]

Abstract

WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE Hepatic impairment (HI) is a known risk factor for drug safety. The MELD score (Model-for-endstage-liver-disease), calculated from serum creatinine, bilirubin and International Normalized Ratio (INR), is a promising screening tool corresponding to Child-Pugh Score (CPS) for drug adjustment. We tested the feasibility of MELD as an automatic screening tool accounting for correct calculation, interfering factors (IF) and detection of patients corresponding to CPS-B/C potentially requiring drug adjustment. METHODS We retrospectively calculated MELD for a 3-month cohort of surgical patients and assessed need for adjustment of MELD parameters to standard values. IF for INR (oral anticoagulants) and serum creatinine (renal insufficiency (RI; eGFR\textless60~ml/min/1.73m²); as well as drugs elevating creatinine levels (DECL)) and the number of patients with MELD scores corresponding to CPS-B/C were analysed. For MELD \geq7.5, liver and bile diagnoses were recorded. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Of 1183 patients, MELD was calculable for 761 (64%; median 7.5, range 6.4-36.8). Parameters had to be adjusted for 690 (91%) patients. IF of parameters were RI in 172 (23%), INR-elevating drugs in 105 (14%) and DECL in 33 (4%) patients. Of 335 (44%) patients with MELD \geq7.5, 122 (36%) had documented liver or bile diagnoses. MELD 10-\textless15 (corresponding to CPS-B) was found for 105 (14%), MELD \geq15 (corresponding to CPS-C) for 66 (9%) of the 761 patients with a calculated MELD. Referred to all patients, drug adjustments due to possible HI were recommendable for 14% of patients with suspected CPS-B/C. WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION MELD is a feasible screening tool for HI as a risk factor for drug safety at hospital admission when appropriately considering correct parameter adjustment and RI and INR-elevating drugs as IF. Further evaluation of sensitivity and specificity is needed.

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