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Pancreas Graft Function Affects Survival in Diabetics

Last Updated: May 04, 2009.

Patients with type 1 diabetes and severe renal dysfunction who receive a simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant have better survival if the pancreas remains functional a year after the transplant, according to a study published online ahead of print April 30 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

MONDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 1 diabetes and severe renal dysfunction who receive a simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant have better survival if the pancreas remains functional a year after the transplant, according to a study published online ahead of print April 30 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Andrew S. Weiss, M.D., from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Aurora, and colleagues analyzed survival in 6,486 patients who received a simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant with a functioning pancreas, of whom 371 received a pancreas-kidney transplant with a failed pancreas, 520 received a kidney alone from a deceased donor, and 904 received a kidney alone from a living donor.

After 84 months, the researchers found that survival was significantly better for patients who received a pancreas-kidney transplant with a functioning pancreas (88.6 percent versus 64.8 to 80 percent for the other treatments), even after adjusting for possible confounding factors and pancreas-after-kidney transplantation rates and outcomes. Unadjusted graft survival was also highest in this group (72 percent versus 49.7 to 63.6 percent for the other treatments).

"In conclusion, the status of the pancreas graft at one year is a significant determinant to the simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant recipient's long-term outcomes, both in terms of kidney graft function and survival," Weiss and colleagues write. "This information can readily be used when discussing transplant options for patients with type 1 diabetes and advanced kidney disease."

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