ETRL responsibilities

The main responsibilities of the ETRL are quality control of the histocompatibility laboratories affiliated with Eurotransplant through External Proficiency Testing (EPT), running the Eurotransplant Acceptable Mismatch program for highly sensitised patients awaiting a kidney transplant, and providing 24/7 immunological backup for the Eurotransplant region.

External Proficiency Testing

The ETRL is the leading organizer for transplantation related immunological proficiency testing in Europe. The ETRL aims at increasing the reliability and comparability of tests performed by the histocompatibility and immunogenetics laboratories throughout Eurotransplant, including testing of tissue characteristics, called Human Leucocyte Antigens (HLA), that are a critical factor for successful matching of donor organs to recipients. In addition, the HLA laboratories are responsible for screening for HLA specific antibodies in the patient’s sera and crossmatching, which are also evaluated by the ETRL.
The ETRL evaluates the quality of all tissue typing laboratories within the Eurotransplant member states and many of similar laboratories or organ exchange organizations in the rest of Europe. 

Acceptable Mismatch Program

The ETRL runs the Eurotransplant Acceptable Mismatch (AM) program for highly sensitised patients awaiting a kidney transplant. The AM program has been established to increase the chance of highly sensitised kidney transplant candidates to receive a cross match negative offer. The program is open for all potential kidney transplant recipients of Eurotransplant affiliated countries. The organ offer is mandatory. No cross match will be performed at the donor center if the patient is offered an organ through the AM program. 

24-hour Immunological Backup

Immunologists from the ETRL provide expertise and practical aid in the area of histocompatibility testing to Eurotransplant affiliated TTC including a 24 hours / 7 days a week on call service for immunological questions regarding organ allocation in general and allocation of organs through the AM program in particular.