Skip to main content


Learn about MELD and PELD

The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) is a formula used to assign priority to most liver transplant candidates age 12 and older based upon their medical urgency.

Learn about MELD Interactive media icon

The Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease model (PELD) is a formula used to assign priority to most liver transplant candidates younger than age 12 based upon their medical urgency.

Learn about PELD Interactive media icon

Patient brochure & FAQs

Find information for patients and families to understand and navigate organ donation and transplantation below.

Questions and answers for transplant candidates about:

The liver

Functions of the liver

The liver is one of the largest and most complex organs in the body. It supports life in a number of ways, including:

  • Helping process carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and stores vitamins.
  • Turning nutrients absorbed from food in the intestines into materials that the body needs for life, such as factors that help the blood clot.
  • Secreting bile to help digest fats.
  • Breaking down toxic substances in the blood, such as drugs and alcohol.

Liver transplant procedures

A liver transplant from a deceased donor most often involves the whole liver. But in some cases the liver may be divided into segments to transplant.

  • A liver that matches the recipient in other ways, but is too large, may be reduced into a smaller segment. This allows it to fit the patient’s size needs.
  • In some cases, a liver from a deceased donor can be split (divided into two segments). Each segment is transplanted into a different person, allowing one donor to help two recipients.

A liver from a living donor will always involve a segment of the organ, not the whole liver. The liver can regenerate and increase in size. This can allow the donor to regain full liver capacity, while the transplanted segment can also grow to fit the recipient’s needs.

Reasons for liver transplants

Liver diagnosis categories Liver diagnoses

Non-cholestatic Cirrhosis

Laennec's Cirrhosis (Alcoholic)
Laennec's Cirrhosis and Postnecrotic Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Type C
Cirrhosis: Cryptogenic--Idiopathic
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Autoimmune-Lupoi
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Type B-Hbsag+
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Type Non A Non B
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Type B and C
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Other Specify
Cirrhosis: Drug/Industrial Exposure Other Specify
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Type B and D
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Type A
Cirrhosis: Postnecrotic--Type D
Cholestatic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
Sec Biliary Cirrhosis: Other Specify
Sec Biliary Cirrhosis: Caroli's Disease
Sec Biliary Cirrhosis: Choledochol Cyst
Cholestatic Liver Disease: Other Specify
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC): Other Specify
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC): Ulcerative Colitis
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC): No Bowel Disease
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC): Crohn's Disease
Biliary Atresia
Biliary Atresia: Other Specify
Biliary Atresia: Extrahepatic
Biliary Atresia: Alagille's Syndrome
Biliary Atresia: Hypoplasia
Acute Hepatic Necrosis (AHN)
AHN: Etiology Unknown
AHN: Type B- Hbsag+
AHN: Drug Other Specify
AHN: Non-A Non-B
AHN: Type C
AHN: Type A
AHN: Other Specify
AHN: Type B and C
AHN: Type B and D
AHN: Type D
Hepatitis C: Chronic or Acute
Hepatitis B: Chronic or Acute
Metabolic Diseases
Metabolic Disease: Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Defic A-1-A
Metabolic Disease: Wilson's Disease
Metabolic Disease: Hemochromatosis-Hemosiderosis
Metabolic Disease: Other Specify
Metabolic Disease: Tyrosinemia
Metabolic Disease: Primary Oxalosis/Oxaluria-Hyper
Metabolic Disease: Glycemic Storage Disease Type IV (GSD-IV)
Metabolic Disease: Glycemic Storage Disease Type I (GSD-I)
Metabolic Disease: Hyperlipidemia-II-Homozygous Hy
Malignant Neoplasms
Primary Liver Malignancy (PLM): Hepatoma--Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Primary Liver Malignancy (PLM): Hepatoma (HCC) and Cirrhosis
Primary Liver Malignancy (PLM): Cholangiocarcinoma (CH-CA)
Primary Liver Malignancy (PLM): Hepatoblastoma (HBL)
Primary Liver Malignancy (PLM): Hemangioendothelioma-Hemangiosarcoma
Primary Liver Malignancy (PLM): Other Specify
Primary Liver Malignancy (PLM): Fibrolamellar (FL-HC)
Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangioma-Biliary Tr)
Secondary Hepatic Malignancy Other Specify
Other Specifiy
Cystic Fibrosis
Budd-Chiari Syndome
TPN/Hyperalimentation Ind Liver Disease
Neonatal Hepatitis Other Specify
Congenital Hepatic Fibrosis
Familial Cholestasis: Other Specify
Familial Cholestatis: Byler's Disease
Trauma Other Specify
Graft vs. Host Disease Secondary to Non-Liiver Transplant
Chronic or Acute
Benign Tumor: Polycystic Liver Disease
Benign Tumor: Other Specify
Benign Tumor: Hepatic Adenoma