1Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
LiMAx has been recently proposed as a new quantitative liver function test. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the diagnostic ability of LiMAx to assess short-term survival in liver transplant candidates and compare its performance to the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) and indocyanine green plasma disappearance rate (ICG-PDR). Liver function of 167 chronic liver failure patients without hepatocellular carcinoma was prospectively investigated when they were evaluated for liver transplantation. Primary study endpoints were liver-related death within 6 months of follow-up. Within 6 months of follow-up, 18 patients died and 36 underwent liver transplantation. Median LiMAx results on evaluation day were significantly lower in patients who died (99 μg/kg/h vs. 55 μg/kg/h; P = 0.024), while median ICG-PDR results did not differ within both groups (4.4%/min vs. 3.5%/min; P = 0.159). LiMAx showed a higher negative predictive value (NPV: 0.93) as compared with ICG-PDR (NPV: 0.90) and the MELD (NPV: 0.91) in predicting risk of death within 6 months. In conclusion, LiMAx provides good prognostic information of liver transplant candidates. In particular, patients who are not at risk of death can be identified reliably by measuring actual enzymatic liver function capacity.