Portal venous (PV) and systemic venous (SV) drainage methods are used in pancreas transplantation. The impact of the reconstruction technique on long-term outcome remains unclear. We compared the efficacy and side effects of both methods in 192 recipients who received synchronous pancreas kidney transplants between November 1995 and November 2007. SV and PV drainage were used in 147 and 45 cases, respectively. Pancreas function was determined by hemoglobin A1c levels and annual oral glucose tolerance test. Serum creatinine assessed kidney function. Serum lipid (low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein and cholesterol) levels and body mass index were measured annually. Patient and graft survival were calculated by log-rank analysis. Pancreas survival for SV versus PV patients was similar after 5 years (81.8% vs. 75.5%) and 10 years (65.1% vs. 60%; p = NS). Similarly, no difference was detected between the groups regarding kidney survival after 5 years (92.9% vs. 84.4%) and 10 years (81.6% vs. 75.5%; p = NS). Patient survival did not differ at 5 years (94.3% vs. 88.8%) and 10 years (85.1% vs. 84.4%; p = NS). Pancreas and kidney function and the lipid profiles were similar in both groups. SV and PV drainage of pancreas grafts offer similar long-term graft survival and function and choice of method should remain the preference of the surgeon.
This retrospective study demonstrates equivalent short-term and long-term outcomes of synchronous pancreas-kidney transplantation using portal venous and systemic venous drainage of pancreas grafts.