for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Jennifer C Lai, MD, MBA
Headshot of Jennifer C Lai
Jennifer C Lai



This will be a prospective cohort study of patients with liver disease. Subjects will undergo geriatric assessments of frailty, functional status, and disability using functional status measures at baseline and at every clinic visit in the pre-transplant setting. Subjects will also answer questions regarding quality of life, personality, and/or cognitive function. Subjects will again undergo assessments at every clinic visit through 12 months after transplant. Then, they will be followed annually.

Official Title

Functional Assessment in Liver Transplant Candidates (FrAILT) Study


Patients will be asked to perform the following study procedures:

  1. Assessment of cognitive function, quality of life, and/or personality using cognitive tests and questionnaires.
  2. Measures of frailty and disability selected to capture the multi-dimensional aspects of frailty including functional status and physiologic reserve:

    Fried Frailty Score: weakness (test of grip strength), exhaustion (patient interview), slowness (gait speed), low activity (patient interview) Short Physical Performance Battery: repeated chair stands, balance testing with feet together, 13-foot walk

  3. Laboratory tests will all be obtained from the medical record: creatinine, total bilirubin, INR, sodium, albumin. All of these tests are necessary for listing for liver transplantation.
  4. Blood draw, urine and stool samples will be collected for a sub-group of 1000 patients.
  5. Adipose, muscle, liver tissue, and blood will be collected during the liver transplant surgery for a sub-group of 1000 patients.


End Stage Liver Disease, Cirrhosis, Liver, Liver Transplant, Frailty, end stage, Liver Diseases


For people ages 18 years and up

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adult (≥18 years old)
  • Are seen for the treatment of liver disease


  • UCSF accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94143 United States
  • Loma Linda University completed
    Loma Linda California 92354 United States
  • University of Washington accepting new patients
    Seattle Washington 98195 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Jennifer C Lai, MD, MBA
    Dr. Lai is a practicing general/transplant hepatologist and board-certified Physician Nutrition Specialist who specializes in caring for patients across the entire spectrum of liver disease, from diagnosis to liver transplant.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
We developed a novel clinical liver frailty index, consisting of hand grip strength, timed chair stands, and balance testing, that correctly reclassifies 1 in 5 patients to their accurate survival status, compared to MELDNa alone.
Study Type
Expecting 5000 study participants
Last Updated