Glossary Term


Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation

Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) involves the transfer of multiple types of tissue (bone, muscle, nerve, skin, and blood vessels) from one individual to another as a functional unit. Most notable are: hands, limbs, and face transplants. (Organ Toolbox Workgroup , 2018 & Community Hospital Resource Guide Workgroup, 2019)

A transplant that is composed of several kinds of tissue such as skin, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, VCAs include hand, arm, or face transplants. ( April 2020, Alliance Terminology & Data Resources May 2021)

A transplant involving any body parts that meets all nine of the following criteria:
1. That is vascularized and requires blood flow by surgical connection of blood vessels to function after transplantation.
2. Containing multiple tissue types.
3. Recovered from a human donor as an anatomical/structural unit.
4. Transplanted into a human recipient as an anatomical/structural unit.
5. Minimally manipulated (i.e., processing that does not alter the original relevant characteristics of the organ relating to the organ’s utility for reconstruction, repair, or replacement).
6. For homologous use (the replacement or supplementation of a recipient’s organ with an organ that performs the same basic function or functions in the recipient as in the donor).
7. Not combined with another article such as a device.
8. Susceptible to ischemia and, therefore, only stored temporarily and not cryopreserved.
9. Susceptible to allograft rejection, generally requiring immunosuppression that may increase infectious disease risk to the recipient.
(OPTN Policy Definitions May 2021, OPTN Bylaws Definitions, December 2020))