History of Eurotransplant

R. M. Langer, B. Cohen, A. Rahmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


In 1967, the Dutch immunologist Jon van Rood called Eurotransplant into life. From the beginning it was a non-profit private foundation. Initially it was a loose cooperation, where tissue typing laboratories and transplantation centers joined to achieve a better result for their kidney patients, a longer survival based on better immunological matching from a bigger donor pool. Other centers from the Benelux states, Germany and Austria soon joined the first few cooperating centers. Switzerland was also a member of Eurotransplant, but left the organization in 1978. Based on the pioneering work of the Leiden histocompatibility lab, the allocation system became more and more sophisticated and was extended to other solid organs. Since the 1980s Eurotransplant has allocated donor livers, hearts, and pancreas. Thereafter, the allocation also included lungs and small bowel. From 1996 a new kidney allocation system, the ETKAS, was introduced, and after the Acceptable Mismatch program and the Eurotransplant Senior Program (known unofficially as "old-for-old" program) were introduced. The main principle remains to adapt the allocation rules continuously according to the newest scientific data serving all organs. In 1991 the German reunification centers in the former Eastern Germany became part of Eurotransplant. In 1999, Slovenia, and in 2007 Croatia joined Eurotransplant. For the transplant centers in these two countries, membership meant positive changes and is regarded as a success story. Both donor numbers and transplant possibilities increased and equal chances are assured for their patients on the common Eurotransplant waiting list. Hungary, joining Eurotransplant next year, hopes to experience the same.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2130-2131
Number of pages2
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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