Pancreas transplantation in type 2 diabetes: expanding the criteria

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Purpose of reviewPancreas transplantation in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) candidates remains disproportionately lower than in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM); however, outcomes in carefully selected patients mirrors that of T1DM. Despite the 2014 United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) eligibility criteria for simultaneous pancreas/kidney transplant (SPK) transplantation in T2DM patients, an expected increase in the number of transplants was not observed.Recent findingsIn an updated International Pancreas and Transplant Registry (IPTR) analysis, 1514 primary deceased donor pancreas transplants were performed in T2DM recipients [1995–2015, SPK 88%, pancreas after kidney (PAK) 9%, pancreas transplant alone (PTA) 3%]. In contrast to the declining number of SPK transplants for T1DM, the number of primary SPK transplants in T2DM patients is increasing over time in the USA. Improvement over time was noted for T2DM SPK patient and graft survival, and the rate of technical failures decreased, paralleling similar overall trends for pancreas transplants in general. Long-term follow-up data of pancreas outcomes in C-peptide positive vs. negative demonstrate noninferior outcomes. BMI does not appear to impact outcomes in carefully selected T2DM candidates.SummaryThe current UNOS regulations that currently limit access of T2DM to pancreas transplantation based on strict BMI criteria and C-peptide levels need to be liberated.

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