In the last 2 years, we have performed combined pancreas-kidney transplantation in 38 Type I diabetics with nephropathy. The mean age of the recipient group was 35 years (range 24-51) with a mean duration of diabetes of 22 years (range 13-41). All patients received quadruple immunosuppression with OKT3 induction. All patients are normoglycemic and insulin independent with a mean glycosylated hemoglobin level of 5.2 +/- 1.1% and a mean serum creatinine of 1.9 +/- 0.5 mg/dl. Metabolic effects of pancreas transplantation included fasting hyperinsulinemia and hyperglucagonemia with exaggerated insulin and glucagon responses to glucose and arginine, respectively, that improved slightly with time. Patient and kidney graft survival are 100% and pancreas graft survival is 94.7% after a mean follow-up interval of 15 months.
Conclusion: Combined pancreas-kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for selected Type I diabetics with nephropathy and results in euglycemia despite immunosuppression.