The goal of this review is to highlight the significant improvements, over the past four decades, in outcomes after a pancreas transplant alone (PTA) in patients with brittle diabetes and recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia and/or hypoglycemic unawareness. A successful PTAdin contrast to intensive insulin regimens and insulin pumpsdrestores normoglycemia without the risk of hypoglycemia and prevents, halts, or reverses the development or progression of secondary diabetes complications. In this International Pancreas Transplant Registry (IPTR) analysis, we reviewed the records of 1,929 PTA recipients from December 1966 to December 2011. We computed graft survival rates according to the Kaplan-Meier method and used uni- and multivariate analyses. In the most recent era (January 2007-December 2011), patient survival rates were >95% at 1 year posttransplant and >90% at 5 years. Graft survival rates with tacrolimusbased maintenance therapy were 86% at 1 year and 69% at 3 years and with sirolimus, 94 and 84%. Graft survival rates have significantly improved owing to marked decreases in technical and immunologic graft failure rates (P < 0.05). As a result, the need for a subsequent kidney transplant has significantly decreased, over time, to only 6% at 5 years. With patient survival rates of almost 100% and graft survival rates of up to 94%at 1 year, a PTA is now a highly successful long-term option. It should be considered in nonuremic patients with brittle diabetes in order to achieve normoglycemia, to avoid hypoglycemia, and to prevent the development or progression of secondary diabetes complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing