First Canadian experience with donation after cardiac death simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplants

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Abstract

Background

Compared with neurologic determination of death (NDD) donor organs, donation after cardiac death (DCD) donor organs have traditionally been considered of inferior quality owing to warm ischemia experienced during procurement. We present, to our knowledge, the first analysis of simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplants using DCD donor organs in Canada.

Methods

We carried out a retrospective cohort study of SPK transplants from 13 DCD and 68 NDD donors performed between October 2008 and July 2016. In all patients immunosuppression was induced with thymoglobulin and continued with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone maintenance therapy.

Results

Donor and recipient characteristics of DCD and NDD groups were similar with respect to age, sex, body mass index, kidney and pancreas cold ischemia times, and donor terminal creatinine. Mean DCD graft warm ischemia time was 0.5 (range 0.4–0.7) hours. Median follow-up was 2.2 (range 0.1–6.7) years and 2.7 (range 0.3–6.3) years for the DCD and NDD groups, respectively. The DCD and NDD groups were similar with regards to recipient percent panel reactive antibody and presence of human leukocyte antigen antibodies. The groups also received similar total doses of thymoglobulin. In total 38% of patients in the DCD group experienced renal delayed graft function (DGF) compared with 10% in the NDD group (p = 0.027). There were 7 cases of pancreas graft thrombosis requiring relaparotomy in the NDD group compared with none in the DCD group. No patients from either group required insulin at any time after transplant. Although the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was lower in the DCD than the NDD group on postoperative days 7 and 14 (p = 0.025), no difference was noted on day 30 or through 4 years after transplant. No differences were seen between the groups with respect to amylase, lipase, or glycosated hemoglobin (HbA1c) up to 4 years after transplant, or in kidney, pancreas, or patient survival at any time after transplant.

Conclusion

Our results show that, apart from a higher renal DGF rate, SPK transplants with DCD donor organs have comparable outcomes to standard transplants with NDD donor organs.

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