Results of Pancreas Transplantation Alone with Special Attention to Native Kidney Function and Proteinuria in Type 1 Diabetes Patients

Division of General and Transplant Surgery in Uremic and Diabetic Patients, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy.
The Review of Diabetic Studies 01/2011; 8(2):259-67. DOI: 10.1900/RDS.2011.8.259
Source: PubMed


We report on our single-center experience with pancreas transplantation alone (PTA) in 71 patients with type 1 diabetes, and a 4-year follow-up. Portal insulin delivery was used in 73.2% of cases and enteric drainage of exocrine secretion in 100%. Immunosuppression consisted of basiliximab (76%), or thymoglobulin (24%), followed by mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, and low-dose steroids. Actuarial patient and pancreas survival at 4 years were 98.4% and 76.7%, respectively. Relaparatomy was needed in 18.3% of patients. Restored endogenous insulin secretion resulted in sustained normalization of fasting plasma glucose levels and HbA1c concentration in all technically successful transplantations. Protenuria (24-hour) improved significantly after PTA. Renal function declined only in recipients with pretransplant glomerular filtration rate (GFR) greater than 90 ml/min, possibly as a result of correction of hyperfiltration following normalization of glucose metabolism. Further improvements were recorded in several cardiovascular risk factors, retinopathy, and neuropathy. We conclude that PTA was an effective and reasonably safe procedure in this single-center experience.

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Available from: Fabio Vistoli, Jan 07, 2015
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    • "Observational studies of patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2 have correlated higher C-peptide levels with decreased prevalence of microvascular complications including diabetic nephropathy [12-15], reviewed in [16]. Furthermore, patients with type 1 diabetes have shown improved renal function following pancreas transplant, a procedure that repletes both C-peptide and insulin from transplanted beta cells [17,18]. Finally, small trials in which C-peptide was administered to experimental subjects with type 1 diabetes have also shown that C-peptide may improve renal function in these patients independent of any potential effect on glycemic control [19,20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreas transplantation consistently induces insulin-independence in beta-cell-penic diabetic patients, but at the cost of major surgery and life-long immunosuppression. One year after grafting, patient survival rate now exceeds 95 % across recipient categories, while insulin independence is maintained in some 85 % of simultaneous pancreas and kidney recipients and in nearly 80 % of solitary pancreas transplant recipients. The half-life of the pancreas graft currently averages 16.7 years, being the longest among extrarenal grafts, and substantially matching the one of renal grafts from deceased donors. The difference between expected (100 %) and actual insulin-independence rate is mostly explained by technical failure in the postoperative phase, and rejection in the long-term period. Death with a functioning graft remains a further major issue, especially in uremic patients who have undergone prolonged periods of dialysis. Refinements in graft preservation, surgical techniques, immunosuppression, and prophylactic treatments are expected to further improve the results of pancreas transplantation.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Current Diabetes Reports
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