The Eurotransplant Reference Laboratory (ETRL) has an important role in Eurotransplant's quality system.
The ETRL has the aim to increase the reliability and comparability of tests performed by the HLA laboratories throughout Eurotransplant, including testing of tissue characteristics (HLA), that are a critical factor for successfully matching donor kidney and recipient.
On top of that the HLA laboratories are responsible for, cross matching, and screening for HLA specific antibodies in the patient's sera. 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. In addition the ETRL runs the Acceptable Mismatch Program for highly sensitized patients.
Eurotransplant was closely involved in the founding and development of ETRL. It was founded in the early seventies shortly after the central registry was established. The ETRL is housed in the Department of Immunohaematology and Blood Transfusion of the University Medical Centre of Leiden in the Netherlands.
During the years the ETRL has become an expert in its field. The ETRL holds the accreditation of the European Federation of Immunogenetics (EFI) for many years, and is one of the leading laboratories in the world. Many of the work performed at the ETRL was reported in the international literature. And of course Eurotransplant takes great pride to have made this possible.