Pregnancy after pancreas transplantation in the cyclosporine era

Benoit M. Barrou, Angelika C. Gruessner, David E.R. Sutherland, Rainer W.G. Gruessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: As of December 31, 1996, a total of 9012 pancreas transplants have been reported to the International Pancreas Transplant Registry (IPTR). Over 75% of these recipients were ≤ 40 years of age at the time of their transplant. With continued improvement in short- and long-term outcome after transplant, an increasing number of female recipients have become pregnant. However, outcome after pregnancy in pancreas transplant recipients has not been studied in detail. Methods: To evaluate the risk of pregnancy after pancreas transplantation in the cylcosporine era, we surveyed the institutions reporting to the IPTR. Results: Nineteen cases of pregnancy in 17 female recipients of simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants resulted in 19 live births. Metabolic control during pregnancy was good in all cases. Mean duration of gestation was 35.2±2.2 weeks, mean birth weight was 2150±680 g. Two congenital malformations were reported (one bilateral cataract and one double aortic arch). One child developed type I diabetes at age 3 years. Only one pancreas graft and one kidney graft were lost (in two different recipients). The pancreas graft was lost after delivery (because of acute rejection). The kidney graft was lost 3 months after delivery (impaired function due to previous amphotericin B treatment). One case of a worsened secondary complication (retinopathy) was reported. One recipient died of myocardial infarction 7 years after transplant and 5 years after delivery, in spite of a normal pretransplant coronary angiogram and good pancreas function. Conclusion: This study shows that simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation can restore fertility in uremic type I diabetic female recipients. Thus, both posttransplant contraception and fertility counseling are options for female recipients. However, our analysis demonstrates that, when discussing the possibility of pregnancy with female pancreas recipients, these potential risks must be considered: (1) graft loss (2) progressive maternal morbidity and mortality even with good glycemic control, and (3) diabetes transmission to offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-527
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 27 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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