Pancreas transplant alone as an independent risk factor for the development of renal failure: A retrospective study

Joseph R. Scalea, Caroline C. Butler, Raghava B. Munivenkatappa, Joseph M. Nogueira, Luis Campos, Abdolreza Haririan, Rolf N. Barth, Benjamin Philosophe, Stephen T. Bartlett, Matthew Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND.: Pancreas transplant alone (PTA) is a controversial procedure. Without clearly demonstrated patient survival, recipients report improved quality of life. Nephrotoxic immunosuppression (IS) may exacerbate diabetic renal injury post-PTA. METHODS.: A single institution retrospective review of patients receiving PTA over a 14-year period was completed. Patient and donor demographics, surgical outcomes, rejection, and patient or graft survival were analyzed. Pre- and Postoperative estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR) were calculated based on the modification of diet and renal disease. Multivariate analysis was performed. RESULTS.: One hundred twenty-three patients undergoing 131 PTAs had an average age of 40.0 years. Seven patients were retransplanted and one received a third pancreas. Mean graft survival was 3.26 years (0-11.3 years) with 21 patients (17%) lost to follow-up. One- and 5-year patient survivals were 96.6% and 91.5%, respectively (mean, 7.15 year). Seventeen patients had an eGFR less than 50 mL/min/1.73 m preoperatively, whereas 64 patients did so post-PTA and 24 had an eGFR less than 30 mL/min. Mean eGFR pretransplantation was 88.9 vs. 55.6 posttransplantation (P<0.0001) with mean follow-up of 3.68 years. All but 16 (12%) patients showed a decrease in eGFR. Mean decrement was 32.1 mg/min/1.73 m. Thirteen developed end-stage renal disease chronic kidney disease (CKD 5) requiring kidney transplantation (KT) at a mean of 4.36 years. Eighty-three patients had an episode of rejection. In post-PTA RF, graft survival was 3.2 vs. 2.4 years (P=0.13). In those requiring KT, graft survival was 7.9 vs. 2.9 years (P<0.0001). Cold ischemia times, donor age, and preoperative eGFR for those with and without RF-requiring KT were not significant. Body mass index was statistically significant. Leukocyte-depleting agents was evaluated, but was not significant. All patients received calcineurin inhibitor IS. CONCLUSIONS.: Patients who undergo PTA may be at increased risk for RF. After comparing patient and donor demographics, IS, and human leukocyte antigen mismatch, it seems that PTA is an independent risk factor for the development of renal failure. Patients with more successful pancreatic grafts demonstrated lower eGFR. Patients should be made aware of the risks of long-term IS. Only the most appropriate patients should be chosen for PTA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1789-1794
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 27 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • PTA
  • Pancreas
  • Renal failure
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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