Pancreas transplant protocols at the University of Minnesota: recipient and donor selection, operative and postoperative management, and outcome

D E Sutherland, K C Moudry, B A Elick, F C Goetz, J S Najarian
Clinical Transplants 1987, : 109-26
In summary, at the University of Minnesota we perform pancreas transplants from both living-related and cadaver donors. Living-related donors must meet strict criteria indicating that they are not at risk for diabetes. Segmental grafts are procured from living-related donors. We currently procure whole pancreas grafts from most cadaver donors, including those in whom a liver is procured. We will accept preservation times up to 24 hours using hyperosmolar silica-gel-filtered plasma as the preservation solution. In regard to recipient selection, we have several categories of patients, including nonuremic individuals with early secondary lesions of diabetes affecting the eyes, nerves, and kidneys. Pancreas transplants are also performed in patients with end-stage diabetic nephropathy, either simultaneous with or after a kidney transplant. The potential benefit from pancreas transplantation is greatest in patients who have early diabetic complications which in the absence of this intervention would progress to a severity more serious than the possible side effects of chronic immunosuppression. A careful pretransplant evaluation is necessary in order to select nonuremic, nonkidney recipients in whom pancreas transplantation is appropriate. The selection process is much easier in kidney transplant recipients; virtually any person who can withstand the additional surgery is a candidate, the risks associated with immunosuppression having already been accepted in lieu of the unsatisfactory alternative of chronic dialysis. The results we have obtained in the 3 categories of recipients since November 1984 in patients managed by our currently preferred surgical techniques and immunosuppressive protocols are shown in Figure 6. One-year pancreas survival rates in nonuremic, nonkidney transplant recipients are 63%, in recipients of a previous kidney 46%, and in recipients of simultaneous kidneys 75%. With respect to surgical technique, our current preference is the bladder drainage method because the ability to monitor exocrine function leads to earlier diagnosis and treatment of rejection episodes. With related donor transplant, we have continued to use enteric drainage. Because the rejection rate is much lower than with cadaver donors, the one-year functional survival rate has been relatively high for technically successful enteric-drained related donor grafts. Nevertheless, rejection does occur, and related donor segmental grafts are being performed with bladder drainage. Our current immunosuppressive protocol of quadruple drug therapy has been associated with the highest graft survival rates, particularly in the bladder-drained group where early diagnosis and treatment of rejection has been facilitated. In our experience, UAA monitoring results have had a high correlation with rejection episodes, and we have never seen loss of endocrine function with retention of high UAA levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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