, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 347-355,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 02 Apr 2013

Design and methodology of the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS): a comprehensive prospective nationwide long-term follow-up cohort

Abstract

In Switzerland, organ procurement is well organized at the national-level but transplant outcomes have not been systematically monitored so far. Therefore, a novel project, the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS), was established. The STCS is a prospective multicentre study, designed as a dynamic cohort, which enrolls all solid organ recipients at the national level. The features of the STCS are a flexible patient-case system that allows capturing all transplant scenarios and collection of patient-specific and allograft-specific data. Beyond comprehensive clinical data, specific focus is directed at psychosocial and behavioral factors, infectious disease development, and bio-banking. Between May 2008 and end of 2011, the six Swiss transplant centers recruited 1,677 patients involving 1,721 transplantations, and a total of 1,800 organs implanted in 15 different transplantation scenarios. 10 % of all patients underwent re-transplantation and 3% had a second transplantation, either in the past or during follow-up. 34% of all kidney allografts originated from living donation. Until the end of 2011 we observed 4,385 infection episodes in our patient population. The STCS showed operative capabilities to collect high-quality data and to adequately reflect the complexity of the post-transplantation process. The STCS represents a promising novel project for comparative effectiveness research in transplantation medicine.

This study is conducted on behalf of all members of the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study.
STCS Participating centers: All Swiss transplant centers participate in the STCS: University Hospital of Basel, Inselspital Bern, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Kantonsspital St. Gallen, and the University Hospital Zurich.