Underutilization of pancreas donors.
BACKGROUND: Transplantation of the pancreas has become the treatment of choice for selected patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. With the current shortage of cadaver donors and the increasing number of diabetic patients on the transplant waiting list, there is a critical need to optimally use all available pancreas grafts for transplantation. We have therefore explored the use of traditionally "less-than-ideal" pancreas donors, including pediatric (4-10 years), older (>or=45 years), obese (weight >or=200 lb), and non-heart-beating donors and donors with an elevated amylase (75% greater than normal values). METHODS: A total of 620 primary simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantations were performed at our center. We analyzed the ratio of livers to pancreata transplanted at our center and compared this to the United Network for Organ Sharing database. Using univariate and multivariate analyses, we then assessed the impact of these less-than-ideal donors on patient survival, graft survival, and postsurgical complications after simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation. RESULTS: A substantial nationwide underutilization of pancreata from donor procurements is demonstrated in the United Network for Organ Sharing database. By using these less-than-ideal donors, the ratio of liver to pancreata procured can be reduced to 1.25:1. Graft survival was not significantly different in patients receiving transplants from obese, non-heart-beating, pediatric, or hyperamylasemic donors compared with grafts from ideal donors. However, grafts from donors 45 years of age or older had significantly lower 1- and 5-year graft survival rates (76% and 65% vs. 90% and 80%, P=0.006). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that utilization of pancreas grafts from selected, less-than-ideal donors results in good overall outcomes and could potentially expand the organ donor pool.
Krieger, NR; Odorico, JS; Heisey, DM; D'Alessandro, AM; Knechtle, SJ; Pirsch, JD; Sollinger, HW
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