Journal Article

Spectrum of surgical complications after simultaneous pancreas–kidney transplantation in a prospectively randomized study of two immunosuppressive protocols

Wolfgang Steurer, Jacques Malaise, Walter Mark, Alfred Koenigsrainer and Raimund Margreiter

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 20, issue suppl_2, pages ii54-ii61
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfh1083
Spectrum of surgical complications after simultaneous pancreas–kidney transplantation in a prospectively randomized study of two immunosuppressive protocols

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Background. Simultaneous pancreas–kidney transplantation (SPK) has evolved as an effective treatment for patients with end-stage nephropathy due to type 1 diabetes mellitus. This report analyses the spectrum of surgical complications among patients receiving tacrolimus and cyclosporin microemulsion (ME)-based therapy for SPK transplantation.

Methods. The analysis included 205 patients randomly assigned to tacrolimus (n = 103) or cyclosporin-ME (n = 102) in the Euro-SPK 001 study. Surgical complications were defined as any intervention in the 3-month post-operative course related to the transplant procedure.

Results. In the tacrolimus vs cyclosporin-ME group, repeat laparotomy was required by fewer patients (26 vs 43%, respectively; P = 0.01) and at a later stage post-transplant (26±26 vs 14±17 days; P = 0.05). Also, thrombosis of graft vessels (2 vs 9%; P = 0.03) and repeat laparotomy for intra-abdominal haemorrhage within the first 3 months (8 vs 22%; P = 0.005) occurred significantly less frequently with tacrolimus vs cyclosporin-ME. A donor age of ≥45 years was a significant determinant for surgical complications requiring repeat laparotomy, regardless of the type of immunosuppression. Portal anastomosis was the safest method of endocrine venous drainage, and Roux-en-Y loop for enteric exocrine drainage was associated with a higher re-operation rate than duodenoenterostomy. Repeat laparotomy had no impact on patient survival, but significantly reduced kidney and pancreas graft survival in the cyclosporin-ME group (kidney: P<0.01; pancreas: P<0.001) and in both groups combined (P ≤ 0.05 and P<0.001, respectively).

Conclusions. The immunological benefits of tacrolimus compared with cyclosporin-ME treatment result in a lower incidence of repeat laparotomies post-transplant and a reduced in-hospital stay. Fewer repeat laparotomies translate into improved pancreas and kidney graft survival.

Keywords: cyclosporin microemulsion; kidney–pancreas transplantation; repeat laparotomy; surgical complications; tacrolimus

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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