Simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation from live donors

Rainer W.G. Gruessner, David M. Kendall, Mary Beth Drangstveit, Angelika C. Gruessner, David E.R. Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Objective: In this first report of a clinical series of simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants (SPKs) from live donors, the authors assess donor and recipient outcome as well as the spectrum of surgical and metabolic complications. Summary Background Data: The rationale for live (vs. cadaveric) donation includes an immunologic advantage (better matching, decreased drugs, and fewer rejection episodes) and elimination of waiting time. Only sequential kidney and pancreas or pancreas transplants alone from live donors had been done until the authors' current series. Methods: Between March 15, 1994, and March 15, 1997, the authors performed 20 SPKs from live donors (6 human leukocyte antigen-identical siblings, 14 mismatched relatives [5 parents, 7 siblings, 1 daughter, 1 aunt]). Of the 20 donors, 13 were women, and 7 were men; median age was 43 years (range, 30-58 years). All donors underwent standardized metabolic workup, including oral glucose tolerance tests, determination of hemoglobin A1c levels, and tests to study insulin secretion and functional insulin secretory reserve. Of the 20 recipients, 12 were women, and 8 were men; median age was 34 years (range, 14-50 years). Management of exocrine pancreatic secretions was with bladder drainage in 17 and duct injection in 3 recipients. Median follow-up was 9 months (range, 1-36 months). Results: Currently, all 20 kidney grafts are functioning. Of the 20 pancreas grafts, 15 are functioning, 3 thrombosed, but 2 of those patients underwent immediate retransplantation from a cadaveric donor, and their grafts currently are functioning. Recipient complications included three anastomotic leaks and three intra-abdominal abscesses. Donor complications included four splenectomies, two peripancreatic fluid collections, one pseudocyst, and one intra-abdominal abscess; two donors underwent reoperation. Three donors had impaired glucose metabolism postdonation. Using tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil for mainstay immunosuppression, only 8 of 20 recipients experienced ≤1 rejection episode; only 1 pancreas graft was lost to rejection. Donor and recipient mortality was 0%. Conclusion: Simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants from live donors can be done with no mortality and good graft outcome. With stringent donor criteria, this approach could become another surgical alternative for endocrine replacement therapy in selected patients with uremic type I diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-482
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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