HLA Rotation

The two week HLA rotation includes an overview of HLA Structure and Function, Methodology, Antibody Testing and HLA Typing methods. One week is spent in the Antibody Section of the laboratory to learn the complement dependent cytotoxicity techniques for antibody analysis and crossmatching, the flow cytometric technique for antibody analysis and crossmatching and the luminex based techniques for antibody analysis and post-transplant monitoring. The second week is spent in the HLA typing Section of the laboratory to learn the sequence specific primer, sequence specific probe and sequenced based typing methods for HLA typing as well as post-transplant chimerism testing. Lectures are given to enhance the hands-on experience during the rotation.

Specific HLA Goals and Objectives

Patient Care:

  • Gather essential and accurate patient information and incorporate it into pathologic interpretations.
  • Evaluate clinical presentations and laboratory assessment of acute and chronic graft vs. host disease.
  • Assess clinical presentations and define basic mechanisms of rejection.
  • Demonstrate an ability to select appropriate HLA test methodologies.
  • Demonstrate an ability to prepare comprehensive HLA test reports that include pertinent information and test interpretation.

Medical Knowledge:

  • Define HLA nomenclature and be able to describe the organization and polymorphism of the human major histocompatibility compl
  • Apply the basic function, protein structure, and cell expression of HLA class I and class II gene products.
  • Describe the role of HLA typing in organ and bone marrow/stem cell transplantation.
  • Define HLA typing techniques.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills:

  • Demonstrate an ability to assist requesting physicians in the appropriate use of interpretation of HLA tests.
  • Educate colleagues and other health care professionals.


  • Demonstrate compassion, understanding of and respect for patients, their families, and the staff and physicians caring for them.
  • Model positive work habits, including punctuality, dependability, and professional appearance.
  • Demonstrate principles of confidentiality with all patient information transmitted.

Systems-Based Practice and Practice-Based Learning:

  • Demonstrate the ability to work with other health care personnel to develop clinically advantageous and cost-effective care-delivery strategies.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with standards for histocompatibility and reporting set forth by the United Network for Organ Sharing, American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, and National Marrow Donor Program.
  • Define the HLA test procedures and protocols (including initial evaluation and living and deceased donor workups) used for solid-organ transplantation.
  • Demonstrate competence in troubleshooting and resolving technical problems.
  • Explain the management of histocompatibility laboratory operations, such as the need for emergency typing and crossmatching.
  • Recall established QA & QC Programs.