Why did you develop the UKELD Score? Was there a particular clinical experience or patient encounter that inspired you to create this tool for clinicians?We wanted to create a reliable score based on robust data to predict survival of patients listed for liver transplantation in the UK. The MELD Score, a well-respected model, was developed for patients in the US and predicting survival in a slightly different cohort.
What pearls, pitfalls and/or tips do you have for users of the UKELD Score? Do you know of cases when it has been applied, interpreted, or used inappropriately?
The score uses lab measurements which are not standardized; the components do vary and can be affected by non-liver factors. The model applies to death from liver failure and does not apply to many cases, such as cancer, hepatopulmonary syndrome, etc. Therefore, it may be used inappropriately as it is an aid, not an absolute prediction.
What recommendations do you have for doctors once they have applied the UKELD Score?
To use the score with common sense; to understand its strengths and limitations (such as confidence limits, effect of other factors, etc).
How do you use the UKELD Score in your own clinical practice? Can you give an example of a scenario in which you use it?
I use it to help patients understand their life expectancy, the need for listing or not listing, and for prioritizing patients on the waiting list.
Any other research in the pipeline that you’re particularly excited about?
Expanding with other parameters, looking at benefits, and extending indications so we have a dynamic model.