Global Glossary on donation and transplantation

The lack of a globally recognized terminology and definitions as well as the need for a uniform collection of data and information for a global database on donation and transplantation, triggered off the unification of terms and basic definitions on cell, tissue and organ donation and transplantation in order to create a Global Glossary.

In 2007 WHO, together with The Transplantation Society (TTS), and the Organizacion Nacional de Trasplantes (ONT) in Spain, initiated a harmonization process and held the "Data Harmonization on Transplantation Activities and Outcomes: Editorial Group for a Global Glossary Meeting", gathering together experts from the six WHO Regions, professionals and representatives of government authorities.

Existing official definitions were selected whenever deemed appropriate. Furthermore, the Editorial Group either adapted existing definitions or produced new definitions.

A draft resulting from this process was posted on the WHO Website for several months for comments.

The present document "Global Glossary on Donation and Transplantation" is the outcome of this process. Its aim is to clarify communication in the area of donation and transplantation, whether for the lay public or for technical, clinical, legal or ethical purposes.

It is anticipated that the Glossary will be completed and adapted with the progress of global consensus. Users are invited to refer to the WHO/transplantation website and to indicate the date of consultation if they quote the Glossary. Suggestions and comments are welcome and should be sent to

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Transplantation of human cells, tissues and organs
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