TransplantLines Biobank and Cohort Study Facility
The TransplantLines Biobank and Cohort Study is a large, longitudinal cohort study into the outcomes after transplantation in patients in the UMCG. The ultimate goal of the study is to improve health, quality of life and long-term outcome after solid organ transplantation and donation. Apart from the collection of biomaterials, the study was designed with specific attention to physical and cognitive functioning, and to patient-reported outcome measures, including quality of life.



About our study

  • The first patient was included in the study in 2015, and inclusion is ongoing. At the time of writing (February 2021), more than 1250 kidney transplant recipients, 300 lung transplant recipients, 500 liver transplant recipients, 100 heart transplant recipients, and 10 small bowel transplant recipients have been included in the study. A large proportion of these patients (~50 to 80%, depending on the specific cohort) were at least one year after transplantation at the time of inclusion. These patients were invited for a single study visit. The remainder (~20 to 50% of patients, depending on the specific cohort) were included before, or shortly after transplantation. This group was invited for multiple study visits, with study visits before transplantation, and at three months, six months, one year, two years and five years after transplantation. 

    In addition to organ transplant recipients, we have currently (February 2021) included >800 (potential) living kidney donors, and we have recently started inclusion for (potential) living liver donors. These study participants are invited for study visits at screening (before donation), at the time of donation, and at 3 months, five and ten years after organ donation. 


  • Prior to all study visits, participants are invited to fill out a set of questionnaires on multiple topics, including socio-economic status, quality of life, physical activity, side effects of and adherence to immunosuppressive therapy, and food frequency questionnaires. At the day of the study visit, whole blood, serum, EDTA plasma, citrate plasma, heparin plasma, 24h collection urine, hair, nails and stool are collected from patients, to be stored in the TransplantLines biobank for future analyses. During study visits, included participants perform a series of physical function tests and neurocognitive tests, that provide insight into the functioning of patients, but also on the side-effects of immunosuppressive drugs, such as polyneuropathy and tremors. 

    In addition to these samples and tests, tissue samples including e.g. samples of skin, adipose tissue, ureter, arteries, veins, trachea, explanted livers and lungs are collected at the time of transplantation, depending on the type of transplantation. Samples are also collected at times of kidney biopsies in kidney transplant recipients, at times of protocol biopsies and at times of suspected rejection. 

  • Inclusion is ongoing, and more patients will be included in the coming years. As a result, patient numbers and available data depend on the population, time point, and specific research questions. We therefore recommend to contact us, in case you are considering using data or biomaterials collected from the TransplantLines study! Data and biomaterials can then be made available at request, after approval by the TransplantLines Research Committee. 

  • Patient information: read more about the VALIDITHI study (in Dutch)


Stephan Bakker Professor of Internal Medicine

Contact us for data requests

Send an email  
Phone: +31 50 361 9710

Postal address

GTC (TransplantLines) – AB17
P.O. Box 30.001
9700RB Groningen
The Netherlands

Visitors address

University Medical Center Groningen
Zusterhuis, Entrance number 27.