Similar results with solitary pancreas transplantation compared with simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation in the new millennium

R J Stratta, A C Farney, G Orlando, U Farooq, Y Al-Shraideh, J Rogers
Transplantation Proceedings 2014, 46 (6): 1924-7

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to analyze our single-center outcomes according to pancreas transplant (PT) category in the new millennium by using standardized management protocols.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively studied 202 consecutive PTs (179 with portal-enteric drainage) in 192 patients; all received either rabbit antithymocyte globulin or alemtuzumab induction in combination with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and tapered corticosteroids or early steroid withdrawal. Unlike simultaneous pancreas/kidney (SPK) transplant, solitary PT (SPT) recipients were managed with routine perioperative anticoagulation and surveillance pancreas biopsies.

RESULTS: From November 2001 to March 2013, we performed 162 SPK transplants, 35 pancreas after kidney transplants, and 5 pancreas-alone transplants (40 SPTs). Demographic characteristics were mostly comparable; however, the SPT group had younger donors, shorter waiting time, fewer HLA mismatches, and fewer African-American recipients but more retransplants (all, P < .05). With a mean follow-up of 5.5 versus 7.5 years, overall patient (86.4% SPK vs 86.8% SPT), kidney graft (74% SPK vs 80% SPT), and pancreas graft (both 65%) survival rates were comparable. Although mortality rates were similar, mortality patterns differed because no SPT recipients died early, whereas the 1-, 3-, and 5-year mortality rates after SPK transplant were 4%, 9% and 12%, respectively (P < .05). The most common causes of pancreas graft loss were death with functioning grafts in SPK recipients and acute/chronic rejection in SPT recipients. Rates of early thrombosis were 8.6% in SPK patients and 5% in SPT patients. Cumulative clinical acute rejection rates were similar between groups (SPK 29% vs SPT 27.5%; P = NS).

CONCLUSIONS: In the setting of depleting antibody induction and tacrolimus-based therapy, HLA matching, careful donor and recipient selection, portal-enteric drainage, selective perioperative anticoagulation, and surveillance SPT biopsy monitoring, similar medium-term outcomes can be achieved in SPK transplants and SPTs in the new millennium.

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