Testing relating to organ transplantation

The procedures used for tissue typing and leukocyte antibody screening vary slightly depending on the type of organ transplantation. Different test packages are used to perform the testing of various patient groups as agreed with the transplant units.

To determine histocompatibility for a kidney transplantation, the HLA typing and blood group determination is performed on the patient and the donor. In addition to these, leukocyte antibody screening is performed to determine the patient’s immunisation status before a kidney transplantation. Before making a transplantation decision, leukocyte crossmatching is performed to determine whether the patient has leukocyte antibodies against the donor. A positive crossmatch result prevents kidney transplantation, since leukocyte antibodies may cause serious rejection and rapid destruction of the transplant. After transplantation, the formation of donor-specific antibodies can be monitored by means of leukocyte antibody screening. The results are used for diagnostics of antibody-mediated rejection.

In other organ transplantations, the patient’s HLA type and blood group are determined in the same manner as in the case of kidney transplantation.

Most of the transplants come from deceased donors, in which case the HLA typing and leukocyte crossmatching is performed in our laboratory as on-call duty. We are part of the Nordic Scandiatransplant organ exchange programme, used for improving the opportunities of immunised patients to receive a compatible transplant.

Our team of experts can be contacted in any issue related to histocompatibility and leukocyte antibodies.