Technical failure of the pancreas graft after a simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplant is not uncommon, affecting roughly 10% of SPK recipients. These patients often recover with good kidney function, but have persistent issues related to their diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine if these patients were good candidates for a later pancreas retransplant. Outcomes were compared between 21 PASPK (pancreas after SPK) recipients and 361 recipients of a primary pancreas after kidney (PAK) transplant. Except for kidney graft source, there was no significant difference in the demographic characteristics between these two groups. In general, early surgical complications were more common in PASPK than PAK recipients (47.6% vs. 35.5%, p = 0.15), although the difference was not statistically significant. The incidence of acute rejection was no different between these two groups (28% vs. 33%, p = NS). At three yr post-transplant, patient and pancreas graft survival rates were also no different between the two groups (p = NS). The most common cause for graft loss in both groups was acute or chronic rejection. In conclusion, pancreas retransplant is a viable option for SPK recipients experiencing early technical failure of the pancreas graft. These recipients are not at higher immunologic risk vs. primary PAK recipients.
- Pancreas retransplant
- Technical failure