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Transplantation. 2013 Jun 27;95(12):1419-24. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e318285558f.

Current state of pancreas preservation and implications for DCD pancreas transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Transplant Surgery, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK. adambarlow@doctors.net.uk


One of the main factors limiting potential uptake of pancreas transplantation, particularly in the United Kingdom, is the shortage of grafts. There has therefore been a recent expansion, particularly in the United Kingdom, in the utilization of grafts from donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors. These grafts are subjected to a greater ischemic insult and are arguably at higher risk of poor functional outcome. Although conventional preservation techniques may be adequate for donation after brain death (DBD) and low-risk DCD pancreases, as the number of DCD pancreas transplants increase and the threshold for rejecting organs decreases, the importance of optimal preservation techniques is going to increase. Over recent years, there have been significant advances in preservation techniques for DCD kidneys, improving the outcome of these marginal grafts. However, the use of such techniques for pancreas preservation is extremely limited and mainly historical. This overview describes the background and results of the established method of pancreas preservation for DBD, namely, cold static storage, and describes the use of the two-layer method. It also reviews pulsatile machine perfusion and normothermic perfusion for pancreas preservation techniques, which have shown promise in the preservation of DCD kidney grafts. The use of these techniques in pancreas preservation is predominantly historical but warrants reevaluation as to the feasibility of applying these techniques to DCD pancreas grafts not only for preservation but also for viability assessment. Further areas for development of pancreas preservation are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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