Pancreas transplantation continues to evolve as a strategy in the management of diabetes mellitus. The first combined pancreas-kidney transplant was reported in 1967, but pancreas transplant now represents a number of procedures, each with different indications, risks, benefits, and outcomes. This review will summarize these procedures, including their risks and outcomes in comparison to kidney transplantation alone, and how or if they affect the consequences of diabetes: hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and microvascular and macrovascular complications. In addition, the new risks introduced by immunosuppression will be reviewed, including infections, cancer, osteoporosis, reproductive function, and the impact of immunosuppression medications on blood pressure, lipids, and glucose tolerance. It is imperative that an endocrinologist remain involved in the care of the pancreas transplant recipient, even when glucose is normal, because of the myriad of issues encountered post transplant, including ongoing management of diabetic complications, prevention of bone loss, and screening for failure of the pancreas graft with reinstitution of treatment when indicated. Although long-term patient and graft survival have improved greatly after pancreas transplant, a multidisciplinary team is needed to maximize long-term quality, as well as quantity, of life for the pancreas transplant recipient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism