Background: Simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation is widely accepted as an optimal therapeutic option for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and end-stage renal disease, but the indication for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is still controversially discussed.
Methods: Twenty-one T2DM recipients of a first combined pancreas-kidney graft performed at our center during a 9-year period were retrospectively analyzed with regard to demographic characteristics; cardiovascular risk factors; surgical, immunological, and infectious complications; and patient and graft survivals and compared with T1DM recipients (n=195) and 32 T2DM patients who received a kidney transplant alone (KTA) during the same period.
Results: Patient survival at 1 and 5 years was 96.9% and 91.6% for the T1DM group, 90.5% and 80.1% for the T2DM group, and 87.1% and 54.2% for the T2DM KTA group, respectively (P<0.001). Actuarial pancreas graft survival for SPK recipients at 1 and 5 years was calculated to be 92.6% and 80.7% for the T1DM group and 81.0% and 75.9% for the T2DM group, respectively (P=0.19). Kidney allograft survival at 5 years was 83.6% for T1DM, 80.4% for T2DM, and 52.7% for T2DM KTA (P<0.0001). Multivariate analysis adjusting for donor and recipient age, secondary complications of diabetes, body mass index, waiting time, cold ischemic time, delayed graft function, and coronary risk factors showed that differences did not remain statistically significant.
Conclusion: Favorable results can be achieved with SPK transplantation in type 2 diabetics with a low coronary risk profile. A high cardiac death rate impacts results of KTA and calls for stringent selection.