A Selection and Follow-Up System for Organ Transplantation
In Western Europe there are more than 20.000 people with endstage renal diseases. Fifteen years ago, transplantation of unrelated cadaveric kidney became an alternative for heamodialysis.
The prognosis for renal graft survival can be improved by selecting a suitable recipient on the basis of immunological criteria. That fact was the motivation for the founding of Eurotransplant (ET) in 1967. It is a cooperative effort of over 200 dialysis centres in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands.
All renal patients considered for transplantation are registered in the database of the University Hospital in Leiden - presently approximately 13.000. Whenever a donor kidney becomes available, the pool of about 2700 patients waiting for transplantation is searched for the 40 best matched candidates.
Follow-up information on the 6700 transplantation, performed since 1967 under the auspices of ET are recorded on magnetic tape. Twice a year, the graft failures are reported by the centres, using the questionnaires printed by the computer. Death dates are supplied yearly on tape by the European Dialysis and Transplantation Association (EDTA).
Graft and patient survival are analysed mainly by actuarial survival statistics. The results of those analyses are used to optimize the matching algorithm for selecting donor-recipient pairs.
Since 1979 this system is also used for selecting patients for cornea transplantation and the analysis of the results.
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