[Cross-over transplantation; a new national program for living kidney donations].
ABSTRACT In the Netherlands, cross-over kidney transplantation has been introduced as an extra option in the living kidney donation programme. In cross-over transplantation, patients who cannot be given their own partner's kidney for immunological reasons are given a kidney from the partner of another patient in exchange for a kidney from their own partner. There is no difference in the medical indications and contraindications between direct and indirect living donation. There are no ethical obstacles since the net gain for the two couples is no different from that of direct living kidney donation and because the exchange takes place on the basis of equality. One should be aware that the extra possibilities may result in more psychological pressure on potential donors. It is important that the donation procedures start at the same moment and that the wishes of patients and donors for anonymity be preserved. A successful cross-over kidney transplantation programme requires a large pool of donors and patients. Therefore, this has been organised in a national programme. The Dutch Transplantation Foundation is responsible for the allocation of cross-over kidneys. Organ trade will thus be impossible. The seven Dutch centres for kidney transplantation have developed a protocol.