context: living donor liver transplantation has become an alternative to reduce the lack of organ donation. objective: to identify factors predictive of early graft loss in the first 3 months after living donor liver transplantation. methods: seventy-eight adults submitted to living donor liver transplantation were divided into group i with 62 (79.5%) patients with graft survival longer than 3 months, and group ii with 16 (20.5%) patients who died and/or showed graft failure within 3 months after liver transplantation. the variables analyzed were gender, age, etiology of liver disease, child-pugh classification, model of end-stage liver disease (meld score), pretransplantation serum sodium level, and graft weight-to-recipient body weight (grbw) ratio. the grbw ratio was categorized into < 0.8 and meld score into >18. the chi-square test, student t-test and uni- and multivariate analysis were used for the evaluation of risk factors for early graft loss. results: meld score <18 (p<0.001) and serum sodium level > 135 meq/l (p = 0.03) were higher in group ii than in group i. in the multivariate analysis meld scores > 18 (p<0.001) and grbw ratios < 0.8 (p<0.04) were significant. conclusions: meld scores >18 and grbw < 0.8 ratios are associated with higher probability of graft failure after living donor liver transplantation.