For a reference of commonly used abbreviations and terminology in the donation and transplantation field, as well as data definitions,please explore the list here. Scroll down the page to find the data definitions.

  • Abbreviations & Definitions

    ACOT

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation, was established to assist the HHS Secretary in: enhancing organ donation, ensuring that the system of organ transplantation is grounded in the best available medical science, assuring the public that the system is as effective and equitable as possible, increasing public confidence in the integrity and effectiveness of the transplantation system


    Additional Donors

    Deceased donors over age 70 years, DCD donors, or donors that otherwise do not meet the OPTN criteria for eligible death.


    Adjusted Donation Rate

    Eligible donors per 100 eligible deaths including additional donors. Number of additional donors added to both the numerator and denominator


    AOPO

    The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations is the non-profit organization recognized as the national representative of fifty-eight federally-designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs)


    AST

    American Society of Transplantation


    ASTS

    American Society of Transplant Surgeons


    CFR

    Code of Federal Regulations, the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government


    Clinical Triggers

    Criteria for the referral of “imminent deaths” that are mutually established by the hospital and organ procurement organization (OPO) and which ensure the hospital makes a timely notification to the OPO


    Common Rule

    The Common Rule outlines the basic provisions for IRBs, informed consent, and Assurances of Compliance. The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects or the “Common Rule” was published in 1991; HHS regulations, 45 CFR Part 46, include four subparts: subpart A, is also known as the Federal Policy or the “Common Rule”


    Consent Algorithm

    Pathway outlining the consent process, e.g., the pathway followed in a potential two-tiered consent process in donation and transplantation, a general consent and “research specific” consent when appropriate


    Conversion Rate

    A measure of the percentage of eligible deaths that become donors.


    DCDD

    Donation after Circulatory Determination of Death (may also be referenced as DCD)


    DFG

    Delayed Graft Function – refers to the initial function of renal grafts. The most common definition is when hemodialysis is required during the first week after kidney transplantation


    DLA

    Donate Life America, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation


    DMGs

    Donor Management Goals, a set of critical care endpoints that are targeted during donor management in order to optimize organ viability


    DMTF

    The Donor Management Task Force is focused on increasing the number of transplantable organs in the U.S. by improving outcomes of donor management practices. The DMTF is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in partnership with the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance (Alliance)


    Donor

    A person from whom at least one organ was recovered with the intent to transplant, regardless of whether the organ was transplanted.


    Donor Designation

    Documentation of an individual’s decision to donate organs, eyes, and/or tissues after death, usually designated on a driver’s license or through a State donor registry


    DonorNetSM

    DonorNetSM, an integrated part of UNetSM, is a central electronic environment in which organ procurement coordinators send out offers of newly donated organs to transplant hospitals with compatible candidate


    DSA

    Donation Service Area, each organ procurement organization (OPO) has a federally designated area it serves and which is made of multiple partners including donor hospitals, transplant centers, tissue/cornea and community partners


    DSMB

    Data Safety Monitoring Board is an independent committee set up specifically to monitor data throughout the duration of a study to determine if continuation of the study is appropriate scientifically and ethically


    DTCP

    Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, organizations and individuals who have an impact on the donation and transplantation process


    Effective Request Process (ERP)

    A process developed collaboratively between the donor hospital and the OPO that culminates in the donation request to the family using tested and proven methodology


    Eligible Death

    New definition starting January 2017: – download detailed report here.

    For reporting purposes of DSA performance assessments, an eligible death for deceased organ donation is defined as the death of a patient who meets all the following characteristics:

    • Is 75 years old or less
    • Is legally declared dead by neurologic criteria according to state or local law
    • Has body weight of 5 kg or greater
    • Has a body mass index (BMI) of 50 kg/m2 or less
    • Has at least one kidney, liver, heart or lung that is deemed to meet the eligible data definition as defined below:
      • The kidney would initially meet the eligible data definition unless the donor meets any of the following criteria:
        • Greater than 70 years old
        • Age 50-69 years with history of type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years
        • Polycystic kidney disease
        • Glomerulosclerosis greater than or equal to 20% by kidney biopsy
        • Terminal serum creatinine greater than 4.0 mg/dL
        • Chronic renal failure
        • No urine output for 24 hours or longer
      • The liver would initially meet the eligible data definition unless the donor meets any of the following criteria:
        • Cirrhosis
        • Terminal total bilirubin greater than or equal to 4 mg/dL
        • Portal hypertension
        • Macrosteatosis greater than or equal to 50% or fibrosis greater than or equal to stage II
        • Fulminant hepatic failure
        • Terminal AST/ALT greater than 700 U/L
      • The heart would initially meet the eligible data definition unless the donor meets any of the following criteria:
        • Greater than 60 years old
        • 45 years old or older with a history of 10 or more years of HTN or 10 or more years of type 1 diabetes
        • History of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
        • History of coronary stent/intervention
        • Current or past medical history of myocardial infarction (MI)
        • Severe vessel diagnosis as supported by cardiac catheterization (that is more than 50 percent occlusion or 2+ vessel disease)
        • Acute myocarditis or endocarditis, or both
        • Heart failure due to cardiomyopathy
        • Internal defibrillator or pacemaker
        • Moderate to severe single valve or 2-valve disease documented by echo or cardiac catheterization, or previous valve repair
        • Serial echo results showing severe global hypokinesis
        • Myxoma
        • Congenital defects (surgically corrected or not)
      • The lung would initially meet the eligible data definition unless the donor meets any of the following criteria:
        • Greater than 65 years old
        • Diagnosed with COPD
        • Terminal PaO2/FiO2 less than 250 mmHg
        • Asthma (with daily prescription)
        • Asthma is the cause of death
        • Pulmonary fibrosis
        • Previous lobectomy
        • Multiple blebs documented on computed axial tomography (CAT) scan
        • Pneumonia as indicated on computed tomography (CT), X-ray, bronchoscopy, or cultures
        • Bilateral severe pulmonary contusions as per CT

    If a deceased patient meets the above criteria they would be classified as an eligible death unless the donor meets any of the following criteria:

    • The donor goes to the operating room with intent to recover organs for transplant and all organs are deemed not medically suitable for transplant
    • The donor exhibits any of the following active infections (with a specific diagnosis):
      • Bacterial: tuberculosis, gangrenous bowel or perforated bowel or intra-abdominal sepsis
      • Viral: HIV infection by serologic or molecular detection, rabies, reactive hepatitis B surface antigen, retroviral infections including viral encephalitis or meningitis, active herpes simplex, varicella zoster, or cytomegalovirus viremia or pneumonia, acute epstein barr virus (mononucleosis), West Nile virus infection, or SARS. However, an HIV positive organ procured for transplantation into an HIV positive recipient at a transplant hospital that meets the requirements in Policy 15.7: Open Variance for the Recovery and Transplantation of Organs from HIV Positive Donors would still meet the requirements of an eligible death, according to the OPTN Final Rule.
      • Fungal: active infection with cryptococcus, aspergillus, histoplasma, coccidioides, active candidemia or invasive yeast infection
      • Parasites: active infection with trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas’), Leishmania, strongyloides, or malaria (plasmodium sp.)
      • Prion: Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease

    The following are general exclusions:

    • Aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis
    • Current malignant neoplasms, except non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell cancer and primary CNS tumors without evident metastatic disease
    • Previous malignant neoplasms with current evident metastatic disease
    • A history of melanoma
    • Hematologic malignancies: leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, lymphoma, multiple myeloma
    • Active fungal, parasitic, viral, or bacterial meningitis or encephalitis
    • No discernible cause of death

    Definition until end – 2016: Is a death of a person aged 70 years or younger who is legally declared brain dead and does not exhibit any of the CMS exclusionary criteria.

    OPOs are required to report all eligible deaths to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).


    Expanded Criteria Donor (ECD)

    Donors after brain death (DBD) meeting the OPTN expanded criteria definition. OPTN expanded criteria definition: organ donors 60 years or older, or organ donors between ages 50-59 who have 2 of the following 3 co-morbidities:   1) CVA as cause of death; 2) history of hypertension at any time; 3) terminal creatinine greater than 1.5 mg/dL. This definition was developed for kidney donors. However, we have used this to classify donors in general.


    Expected Donation Rate

    The rate expected for an OPO based on the national experience for OPOs serving similar eligible donor populations and donation service areas. The Expected Donation Rate is adjusted for the distributions of age, gender, race and cause of death among eligible deaths.


    Ex-vivo

    Outside of the living body. Refers to a medical procedure in which an organ, cells, or tissue are taken from a body for a treatment or procedure, and then returned to a living body


    FDA

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration, responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, U.S. food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation


    First Person Authorization (FPA) Legislation

    State laws ensuring legal authority to proceed with organ procurement without authorization from the family based on a legal indication of the deceased’s authorization for donation, such as on a driver’s license or other official document


    Graft

    A transplanted organ or tissue


    Graft Survival

    The length of time an organ functions successfully after being transplanted


    HHS

    The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves


    HIPAA

    Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a U.S. law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers


    Histocompatibility

    The examination or testing of antigens to determine if a donor organ will “match” and be compatible with a potential recipient’s system. This routine test is often called tissue-typing and helps identify the most suitable recipient for a donated organ


    HLA

    Human Leukocyte Antigens, a genetically determined series of markers (molecules) located on human white blood cells (leukocytes) and on tissues that are inherited from both biological parents. HLA matching is important for compatibility between donor and recipient


    HRSA

    The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the Federal agency that oversees organ, bone marrow, and cord blood donation


    Human Research Subject

    A living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with an individual or with his or her identifiable private information, or an individual who is or becomes a subject in research, either as a recipient of the test article or as a control. The U.S. FDA and HHS have different definitions for the term human subject, link to the FDA and HHS human subject definitions: http://www.mayo.edu/research/institutional-review-board/definition-terms


    IACUC

    Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, a self-regulating entity that, according to U.S. federal law, must be established by institutions that use laboratory animals for research or instructional purposes to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the institution’s animal care and use program


    IRB

    Institutional Review Board, a specifically constituted review body established or designated by an entity to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in biomedical or behavioral or social science research


    ISHLT

    The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, a multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with advanced heart or lung disease through transplantation, mechanical support, and innovative therapies via research, education, and advocacy


    KAS

    Kidney Allocation System.


    KPAC

    Kidney Pancreas Advisory Council, American Society of Transplantation (AST)


    LICOP

    Liver and Intestinal Community of Practice, American Society of Transplantation (AST)


    Match Run

    The list that is generated when an organ donor’s information is entered into the national waiting list computer system to identify potential recipients


    MELD

    The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) is a numerical scale ranging from 6 (less ill) to 40 (gravely ill), used for liver transplant candidates age 12 and older. It gives each person a ‘score’ (number) based on how urgently he or she needs a liver transplant within the next three months. Pediatric End Stage Liver Disease Model (PELD) is used for patients age 11 and younger


    Multivariate Analysis

    Statistical techniques used to examine more than two variables at the same time


    NIAID

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases


    NIH

    The National Institutes of Health, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the nation’s medical research agency


    NOTA

    National Organ Transplant Act, passed by Congress in 1984, NOTA initiated the development of a national system of organ sharing and a scientific registry to collect and report transplant data. It also outlawed the sale of human organs in the United States


    O/E

    Observed (outcomes) vs. Expected (outcomes). Refers to the organs transplanted measure introduced by the OPTN in 2011.  It is expressed as a ratio of observed organs transplanted over expected organs transplanted.  A score of 1.0 means the observed and expected are equal; <1.0 = less organs transplanted than expected; > 1.0 = more organs transplanted than expected


    Observed (Crude) Donation Rate

    The number of deceased donors meeting eligible criteria per 100 eligible death is reported


    OHRP

    The Office for Human Research Protections, provides leadership in the protection of the rights, welfare, and wellbeing of subjects involved in research conducted or supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’; responsible for implementing HHS regulations (45 CFR 46) governing biomedical and behavioral and or social science research involving human subjects


    OPO

    Organ Procurement Organization


    OPTN

    The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, the unified transplant network established by the United States Congress under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. The act called for the network to be operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract. The OPTN is a unique public-private partnership that links all of the professionals involved in the donation and transplantation system


    Organ Yield

    Ratio of observed to expected numbers of organs transplanted; expected numbers based on national experience with similar donors


    ORPD

    Organs Recovered per Donor


    OTPD

    Organs Transplanted per Donor


    Power Analysis

    A statistical procedure that is used to determine the number of required subjects in a study in order to show a significant difference at a predetermined level of significance and size of effect; it is also used to determine the power of a test from the sample size, size of effect, and level of significance. Power, by definition, is the ability to find a statistically significant difference when the null hypothesis is in fact false; power is your ability to find a difference when a real difference exists


    PRIMR

    Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research


    Propensity Analysis

    The propensity score is the probability of treatment assignment conditional on observed baseline characteristics. The propensity score allows one to design and analyze an observational (nonrandomized) study so that it mimics some of the particular characteristics of a randomized controlled trial. In particular, the propensity score is a balancing score: conditional on the propensity score, the distribution of observed baseline covariates will be similar between treated and untreated subjects. Propensity scores have been used to reduce bias in observational studies


    P-Value

    The p-value is associated with a test statistic; the p-value measures consistency between the results actually obtained in the trial and the “pure chance” explanation for those results, e.g., a p-value of 0.002 favoring group A arises very infrequently when the only differences between groups A and C are due to chance, chance alone would produce such a result only twice in every thousand studies


    QITF

    The Quality Improvement Task Force focuses on utilizing available organ donation performance data with the intent of driving quality improvement initiatives to improve donation outcomes. The task force is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in partnership with the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance


    Regression Analysis

    Statistical process for estimating the relationships among variables. It includes many techniques for modeling and analyzing several variables, when the focus is on the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables


    Research

    Research (as defined by FDA). Any experiment that involves a test article and one or more human subjects, and that meets any one of the following: Must meet the requirements for prior submission to the FDA under section 505(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, meaning any use of a drug other than the use of an approved drug in the course of medical practice, Must meet the requirements for prior submission to the Food and Drug Administration under section 520(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, meaning any activity that evaluates the safety or effectiveness of a device, Any activity the results of which are intended to be later submitted to, or held for inspection by, the FDA as part of an application for a research or marketing permit

    Research (as defined by HHS). A systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge


    Sample Size Estimate

    The calculation of an adequate sample size is crucial in any clinical study and is the process by which we calculate the optimum number of participants required to be able to arrive at ethically and scientifically valid results. Generally, the sample size for any study depends on: acceptable level of significance, power of the study, expected effect size, underlying event rate in the population, standard deviation in the population


    SRTR

    The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, a national database of transplantation statistics. Founded in 1987, the registry exists to support the ongoing evaluation of the scientific and clinical status of solid organ transplantation. Data in the registry are collected by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) from hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the country


    Statistical Significance

    A mathematical technique to measure whether the results of a study are likely to be true. Statistical significance is calculated as the probability that an effect observed in a research study is occurring because of chance. Statistical significance is usually expressed as a P-value. The smaller the P-value, the less likely it is that the results are due to chance (and more likely that the results are true). Researchers generally believe the results are probably true if the statistical significance is a P-value less than 0.05 (p<.05)


    TCTF

    The Transplant Center Task Force, focuses on defining the role of the transplant center within the DTCP, examine how the content of the NLC can engage the transplant community, decipher to what extent the award criteria recognizes the transplant program performance, and determine what changes are needed to the current TGMC change package to transform it into a best practice document. The task force is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in partnership with the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance


    UAGA

    The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, the first law (1968) governing organ and tissue donation in the United States. In 2006, the UAGA was again revised to provide uniformity in state laws regarding organ and tissue donation, strengthen the lifetime decision of a person making an anatomical gift, and clarify the list of people who can make a donation decision on behalf of a person who has died


    UNetSM

    Centralized computer network which links all organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and transplant centers; the network is maintained by UNOS


    Univariate Analysis

    The simplest form of quantitative (statistical) analysis, carried out with the description of a single variable in terms of the applicable unit of analysis. For example, if the variable “age” was the subject of the analysis, the researcher would look at how many subjects fall into given age attribute categories


    UNOS

    United Network for Organ Sharing, the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system (OPTN) under contract with the federal government (HRSA)


    Waiting List

    A national database maintained by the OPTN of all patients waiting for an organ transplant. It is made up of sub-lists of patients waiting for specific organs


  • Data Definitions

    An excellent resource for detailed reports and further definitions and calculations of OPO, hospital, and transplant center metrics is the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients website: www.srtr.org

    Additional Donors

    Deceased donors over age 70 years, DCD donors, or donors that otherwise do not meet the OPTN criteria for eligible death.


    Adjusted Donation Rate

    Eligible donors per 100 eligible deaths including additional donors. Number of additional donors added to both the numerator and denominator


    Conversion Rate

    A measure of the percentage of eligible deaths that become donors.


    Donor

    A person from whom at least one organ was recovered with the intent to transplant, regardless of whether the organ was transplanted


    Eligible Death

    Is a death of a person aged 70 years or younger who is legally declared brain dead and does not exhibit any of the CMS exclusionary criteria


    Eligible Donor

    A donor whose death met the eligible death definition


    Expected Donation Rate

    The rate expected for an OPO based on the national experience for OPOs serving similar eligible donor populations and donation service areas. The Expected Donation Rate is adjusted for the distributions of age, gender, race and cause of death among eligible deaths.


    O/E

    Observed (outcomes) vs. Expected (outcomes). Refers to the organs transplanted measure introduced by the OPTN in 2011.  It is expressed as a ratio of observed organs transplanted over expected organs transplanted.  A score of 1.0 means the observed and expected are equal; <1.0 = less organs transplanted than expected; > 1.0 = more organs transplanted than expected


    Observed (Crude) Donation Rate

    The number of deceased donors meeting eligible criteria per 100 eligible death is reported.


    Organ Yield

    Ratio of observed to expected numbers of organs transplanted; expected numbers based on national experience with similar donors


    ORPD

    Organs Recovered per Donor


    OTPD

    Organs Transplanted per Donor


    Adjusted Conversion Rate

    All Donors (eligible donors + non-eligible donors) / eligible deaths + non-eligible donors
    (CMS Adjusted Donation Rate / Collaborative Donation Rate)


    Authorization Rate

    approaches made on potential organ donors / all potential organ donors


    Donation/Conversion Rate

    eligible donors (meeting eligible definition) per 100 eligible deaths


    Eligible Conversion Rate

    eligible donors (SCD & ECD) / eligible deaths
    (CMS Donation Rate / SRTR Observed Donation Rate)


    Organ Discard Rate

    organs recovered – organs transplanted = organs discarded

    organs discarded / organs recovered


    ORPD

    organs recovered / donors (not limited to eligible deaths)


    OTPD

    organs transplanted / donors (not limited to eligible deaths)


    Referral Rate

    referred potential organ donors / all potential organ donors