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Clin Transplant. 1994 Jun;8(3 Pt 1):239-45.

Quality of life after combined kidney-pancreas or kidney transplantation in diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.


The quality of life after a successful combined kidney-pancreas transplantation was studied in 17 diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and in 11 patients who experienced a failure of one or both grafts. The control group comprised 23 patients who received a kidney transplantation only. The aspects of quality of life chosen for study were: physical, psychological and social wellbeing, daily activities, level of functioning and global quality of life evaluation. Additionally, future expectations, the perceived burden of treatment, and main reason for undergoing organ replacement therapy were evaluated. In only one aspect of quality of life did patients with a successful combined transplantation score significantly better than patients with a kidney transplantation, i.e., mobility in daily functioning and activities (p = 0.03). Patients with a failure of one or both grafts reported significantly more fatigue (p = 0.02), less energy (p = 0.04), and more social isolation (p = 0.05) than patients who had well-functioning grafts. The mean duration of hospitalization following combined transplantation is twice that for kidney transplantation only 10 vs 5 weeks. Although the combined transplantation group found the first 3 months after transplantation more burdensome (p = 0.04) and more often wondered whether it had been worth all the trouble (p = 0.05), they indicated the same willingness as the group with a kidney transplant only to undergo another transplantation under similar circumstances. Although the recipients of a kidney transplant had not been offered the choice of a combined transplantation, their reasons for transplantation did not, in essence, differ from those of recipients of a combined transplantation. In both groups the main motivation to opt for organ replacement therapy was the burden of dialysis, to stop the progressive deterioration of their health, and to experience a better quality of life.

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