Kidney transplantation is preferred over dialysis for management of end-stage renal disease complicating type I or type 2 diabetes, for those who are eligible. Simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) or pancreas after kidney transplantation (PAK) is an important alternative to kidney transplantation alone for type I diabetes patients if the patient is able to withstand the additional risks of these procedures, because of the benefits of glucose control on other diabetic complications. Pancreas transplantation alone (PTA) is most useful for the treatment of debilitating, frequent hypoglycemia complicating type I diabetes, if renal function is adequate. One-year pancreas graft survival is best after SPK (82%) but has significantly improved after both PAK (74%) and PTA (76%). The I-year kidney graft and patient survival rates after SPK are similar to kidney transplantation alone. Pancreas transplantation normalizes glucose beyond what can be achieved with insulin therapy and has been shown to decrease progression of or improve most, if not all, diabetic end-organ complications using current immunosuppression regimens. However, the diabetologist and endocrinologist should remain involved in the care of the pancreas or kidney transplant recipient for treatment of vascular disease risk factors such as dyslipidemia, surveillance of other diabetic complications including foot ulcers, surveillance and treatment of bone loss, and management of hyperglycemia if it recurs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism