Transplant Lengthens Lives of Diabetics With Kidney Disease

Transplant Lengthens Lives of Diabetics With Kidney Disease

Reported May 01, 2009

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Type 1 diabetics in need of a kidney transplant may increase their long-term survival rate with a simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplant, although this option also brings some increased surgical risks.

SPK transplants involve performing a pancreas transplant at the same time as a kidney transplant. Under the condition that both organs function after one year, the long-term survival rate is 89 percent. This is 9 percent higher than patients receiving kidneys from live donors and 24 percent higher than those receiving kidneys from deceased donors.



The main risk that comes along with an SPK lies in the 2 percent increase in likelihood of dying in the first year. In addition, the chance that the transplanted pancreas will fail in the first year increases by 10 to 15 percent. In that case, the survival rate is decreased to 74 percent.

These results may help diabetic patients and their doctors decide between a kidney transplant alone and an SPK. One theory behind why SPK patients live longer is improved diabetes control helps them avoid cardiovascular disease.

SOURCE: To be published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology