Importance Since the 1980s, pancreas transplant has become the most effective treatment strategy to restore euglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, technical complications and BK virus nephropathy continue to be important causes of early and late graft loss. These and other complications lead to cited 1- and 3-year graft survival rates of 74% and 67% (pancreas) and 81% and 73% (kidney).
Objective To examine our center's outcomes with pancreas-kidney transplant and early BK virus screening and treatment.
Design Prospective study from August 2004 to January 2012.
Setting University medical center.
Participants Sixty-five patients with type 1 diabetes who underwent simultaneous kidney and pancreas, pancreas after kidney, or pancreas transplant alone at a single center.
Intervention Pancreas transplant.
Main Outcome Measures Pancreas and kidney survival; patient survival; and kidney loss due to BK virus nephropathy.
Results Patient survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 100%, 98.4%, and 98.4%, respectively. Of 2 early pancreatic allograft losses, 1 was due to thrombosis (1.6%). One- and 5-year pancreas graft survival rates were 95.4% and 92.3%; losses after more than 1 year were due to rejection. Kidney survival rates were 100% and 95.2% at 1 and 5 years; losses were due to nephropathy and noncompliance, with 1 death with function. BK virus incidence was 29.2%, with no graft losses due to BK infection.
Conclusions and Relevance While pancreas transplant can be complicated by early graft loss, our results suggest that excellent outcomes at 5 years can be achieved. Posttransplant BK virus screening and treatment are essential tools to long-term success.