Outcomes of Pancreas Transplantation in the United States Using Cardiac-Death Donors

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Organs donated after cardiac death (DCD) are used to expand the donor pool. We analyzed the outcomes in the United States of pancreatic transplantation of organs from DCD donors performed between 1993 and 2003.

We used the OPTN/UNOS Registry to compare outcomes of primary pancreas allografts from DCD donors and donors after brain death (DBD). The primary endpoints were graft failure and patient death. A national survey regarding the use of DCD donors in pancreas transplantation was conducted among the directors of pancreas transplant centers.

Data were obtained on 47 simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants (SPK) and 10 solitary pancreas transplants from DCD donors and on 2431 SPK and 1607 solitary pancreas transplants from DBD donors. Recipients of a SPK transplants from DCD and DBD donors had equivalent patient and graft survival rates at 1, 3 and 5 years. For recipients of SPK transplants, the wait for organs from DCD donors was significantly shorter than that for organs from DBD donors. SPK recipients of organs from DCD donors had longer hospital stays than did recipients of organs from DBD donors. With renal allografts, the incidence of delayed graft function was almost four times higher with organs from DCD donors than with organs from DBD donors.

Selective use of organs from DCD donors is safe for pancreas transplantation.

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