Abstract A method for rapid assessment of hepatic function in liver donors based on the formation of the lignocaine metabolite monoethylglycinexylidide (MEGX), was used in a prospective study of 69 donor-recipient pairs. The probability of graft survival over 120 days was significantly higher for livers from donors with MEGX test values above 90 μg/l than for those from donors with MEGX values of 90 μg/l or below. Other liver function tests (bilirubin, prothrombin time, activity of aminotransferases, glutamate dehydrogenase, and cholinesterase, indocyanine green clearance, and galactose elimination capacity) were inefficient at predicting early outcome of transplantation. For a 20-day graft survival, the MEGX test showed prognostic sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 78%. These findings suggest that the MEGX formation test could be valuable for selection of donor organs.