Patients with type 1 diabetic end-stage renal disease (ESRD) may be offered single kidney transplantation from a live donor (LDK) or a deceased donor (DDK) to replace the lost kidney function. In the latter setting the patient may also receive a simultaneous pancreas together with a kidney from the same donor (SPK). Also in some cases a pancreas after kidney may be offered to those who have previously received a kidney alone (PAK). The obvious benefit of a successful SPK transplantation is that the patients not only recover from uremia but also obtain normal blood glucose control without use of insulin or other hypoglycemic agents. Accordingly, this combined procedure has become an established treatment for type 1 diabetic patients with ESRD. Adequate long-term blood glucose control may theoretically lead to reduced progression or even reversal of microvascular complications. Another potential beneficial effect may be improvement of patient and kidney graft survival. Development of diabetic complications usually takes a decade to develop and accordingly any potential benefits of a pancreas transplant will not easily be disclosed during the first decade after transplantation. The purpose of the review is to assess the present literature of outcomes after kidney transplantation in patients with diabetic ESRD, with our without a concomitant pancreas transplantation. The points of interest given in this review are microvascular complications, graft outcomes, cardiovascular outcomes and mortality.
Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy; Graft survival; Kidney transplantation; Pancreas transplantation; Patient survival.
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