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Ann Surg. 2009 Oct;250(4):618-30. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181b76d2b.

One thousand simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants at a single center with 22-year follow-up.

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Division of Transplantation, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53792, USA.



Simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation (SPK) is a procedure which frees the diabetic patient with end-stage nephropathy from dialysis and daily insulin injections. The purpose of this study is to report long-term outcomes of this procedure, and describe surgical and medical complications.


The analysis includes 1000 consecutive SPKs performed between 1985 and 2007. Bladder drainage was used in 390 patients and enteric drainage in 610 patients. In 362 patients, SPK transplantation was performed before initiation of dialysis.


Patient survival at 1, 10, and 20 years is 97%, 80%, and 58%; kidney survival is 91%, 63%, and 38%; and pancreas survival is 88%, 63%, and 36%, respectively. There was no difference (P > 0.19) for patient, kidney, and pancreas survival between bladder and enteric drainage. Major surgical complications for bladder-drained patients were anastomotic leaks, urological complications, and infections. For enteric-drained patients, major surgical complications were infection, bleeding, and enzyme leak. Principal causes of death were myocardial infarction (n = 23), cerebrovascular accident (n = 18), and renal failure (n = 15). Graft failure for the kidney was due to acute rejection (n = 48), chronic rejection (n = 146), and death with a functioning graft (n = 99). Graft failure for the pancreas was caused by chronic graft loss (n = 44), thrombosis (n = 31), rejection (n = 80), and death with a functioning graft (n = 125). A total of 113 patients were retransplanted with either living related or unrelated donor kidneys (n = 64) or deceased donor kidneys (n = 42). Survival for retransplanted kidneys is 84% at 1 year and 68% at 5 years. Surviving bladder-drained patients underwent enteric conversion (>50%) for severe recalcitrant metabolic or urologic complications, most commonly enzyme leaks, hematuria, and recurrent urinary tract infection.


Diabetic patients with end-stage renal failure have a poor prognosis without transplantation. Transplantation with SPK provides a marked extension of the patient's life and freedom from insulin injections. Enteric drainage is currently the surgical technique of choice. SPK transplantation should be considered the treatment of choice in this patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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