Early reexploration for suspected thrombosis after pancreas transplantation.
ABSTRACT Graft thrombosis is the most common cause of early graft loss after pancreas transplantation. Early reexploration may permit salvage or timely removal of the thrombosed graft.
This was a retrospective review of 345 pancreas transplants performed at a single center between January 2003 and December 2009. Early reexploration was defined as within 1 week of pancreas transplantation.
Of the 345 transplants, there were 35 early reexplorations. The graft was compromised in 20 cases (57%): 10 venous thromboses, 3 arterial thromboses, 2 combined arterial and venous thrombosis, 2 thromboses secondary to allograft pancreatitis, and 3 cases of positional ischemia without thrombosis. Of these allografts, three reperfused once repositioned and six were successfully thrombectomized for a graft salvage rate of 45%. One of the thrombectomized grafts remained perfused but never functioned and was removed at retransplantation. The 10 remaining compromised grafts that were deemed unsalvageable and required allograft pancreatectomy. Nine of these recipients were retransplanted (eight within 2 weeks) and one was not a retransplantation candidate.
Reexploration for suspected graft thrombosis after pancreas transplantation resulted in a negative laparotomy rate of 43%, but permitted graft salvage in 45% of compromised grafts.
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