External Proficiency Testing

Eurotransplant being an organ exchange organisation relies on the work of the affiliated tissue typing centers. An essential step in maintaining the high standards of histocompatibility related matters within Eurotransplant is the fulfillment of the ETRL External Proficiency Testing (EPT) exercises. This is the only EPT scheme where a center to center comparison within Eurotransplant is possible. Therefore, all Eurotransplant affiliated laboratories entering data into the Eurotransplant Network Information System (ENIS) must participate in all EPT exercises without any sample selection, and must fulfill the requirements of the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI).

The ETRL has established the EPT scheme in order to assess, maintain, and improve the quality of HLA typing, screening for HLA specific antibodies and crossmatching of tissue typing centers affiliated to Eurotransplant. The participants are informed at the end of each calendar year how the EPT scheme of the following year will be organized, and what data are required for the analysis and certificates. The results of the EPT form the basis for future decisions of bodies such as the Tissue Typing Advisory Committee or the Kidney Advisory Committee of Eurotransplant.

Besides tissue typing centers affiliated to Eurotransplant, also tissue typing laboratories from outside the Eurotransplant region participate in (selected) EPT exercises.

Patient-based EPT cases

Besides EPT exercises for laboratory tests, the ETRL also organises an EPT on patient-based cases, where the tissue typing laboratories have to decide on whether patients should be transplanted based on immunological data. This EPT exercise is mandatory for Eurotransplant affiliated laboratories. Whenever a laboratory runs across an interesting patient case in their daily practice that could be used a basis for a patient-based EPT case, please fill in this form and send it to etrl@eurotransplant.com.

Dedicated EPT website

The ETRL has developed a dedicated EPT website for uploading all EPT results in a web-based environment. This password-protected website is accessible to all participants of the ETRL EPT scheme. Detailed and up-to-date information on the ETRL EPT can be found on this website.