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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2001 Nov;12(11):2490-9.

Pancreas after kidney transplants in posturemic patients with type I diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


Pancreas after previous kidney (PAK) transplants are an attractive option for type 1 diabetic patients because of the short waiting time and use of living kidney donors. Factors associated with the increased success rate of PAK transplants in four immunosuppressive eras were analyzed. Between July 1, 1978, and April 30, 2000, 406 PAK transplants were performed in posturemic patients. Four immunosuppressive eras were analyzed: (1) the precyclosporine era, era 1 (n = 65; 16%); (2) the cyclosporine era, era 2 (n = 109; 27%); (3) the tacrolimus era with monoclonal or polyclonal antibody induction therapy, era 3 (n = 104; 26%); and (4) the tacrolimus era with monoclonal and polyclonal antibody induction therapy, era 4 (n = 128; 31%). Patient and graft survival, rejection, and technical failure rates were calculated. Patient survival rates have remained high over time, from 91% (era 1) to 96% (era 4) at 1 yr posttransplant. Pancreas graft survival rates with primary cadaver transplants have significantly increased, from 17% (era 1) to 81% (era 4) at 1 yr. The rate of graft loss from rejection has significantly decreased, from 78% (era 1) to 9% (era 4) at 1 yr. Results were best when donors and recipients were matched for at least one antigen per HLA locus. Kidney graft survival was higher in PAK transplant recipients compared with diabetic recipients of kidney transplants alone from the time of the kidney as well as the pancreas transplants. PAK recipients now enjoy >80% graft survival at 1 yr. This improvement in outcome results from better immunosuppression, good matching, and close posttransplant monitoring for rejection.

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