Objective: To review the authors' experience with a new approach for type I diabetic uremic patients: simultaneous cadaver-donor pancreas and living-donor kidney transplant (SPLK).
Summary background data: Simultaneous cadaver kidney and pancreas transplantation (SPK) and living-donor kidney transplantation alone followed by a solitary cadaver-donor pancreas transplant (PAK) have been the transplant options for type I diabetic uremic patients. SPK pancreas graft survival has historically exceeded that of solitary pancreas transplantation. Recent improvement in solitary pancreas transplant survival rates has narrowed the advantage seen with SPK. PAK, however, requires sequential transplant operations. In contrast to PAK and SPK, SPLK is a single operation that offers the potential benefits of living kidney donation: shorter waiting time, expansion of the organ donor pool, and improved short-term and long-term renal graft function.
Methods: Between May 1998 and September 1999, the authors performed 30 SPLK procedures, coordinating the cadaver pancreas transplant with simultaneous transplantation of a laparoscopically removed living-donor kidney. Of the 30 SPLKs, 28 (93%) were portally and enterically drained. During the same period, the authors also performed 19 primary SPK and 17 primary PAK transplants.
Results: One-year pancreas, kidney, and patient survival rates were 88%, 95%, and 95% for SPLK recipients. One-year pancreas graft survival rates in SPK and PAK recipients were 84% and 71%. Of 30 SPLK transplants, 29 (97%) had immediate renal graft function, whereas 79% of SPK kidneys had immediate function. Reoperative rates, early readmission to the hospital, and initial length of stay were similar between SPLK and SPK recipients. SPLK recipients had a shorter wait time for transplantation.
Conclusions: Early pancreas, kidney, and patient survival rates after SPLK are similar to those for SPK. Waiting time was significantly shortened. SPLK recipients had lower rates of delayed renal graft function than SPK recipients. Combining cadaver pancreas transplantation with living-donor kidney transplantation does not harm renal graft outcome. Given the advantages of living-donor kidney transplant, SPLK should be considered for all uremic type I diabetic patients with living donors.