Pancreas transplantation following total pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis.Clin Transplant 2019; :e13731CT
Total pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis leads to brittle diabetes and challenging glycemic control with half of all patients experiencing severe hypoglycemia, many requiring medical intervention or hospitalization. Pancreas transplantation has the potential to manage both the endocrine and the exocrine insufficiency in this patient population.
Between June 1, 2005, and July 1, 2016, 8 patients with brittle diabetes following total pancreatectomy underwent pancreas transplantation. All grafts had systemic venous and enteric exocrine drainage. Data included demographics, graft and patient survival, pre- and post-transplant supplementation with pancreatic enzymes, and narcotic usage.
Patient survival rate at 1 and 3 years was 88%. Pancreas graft survival rate of those alive at 1 year was 100% and 86%, respectively. About 75% of these patients remained insulin-free until their time of death, loss of follow-up, or present day. Of the patients with maintained graft function at 3 years, none required further hospitalization for glycemic control. About 75% of these patients have also maintained exocrine function without pancreatic enzyme supplementation.
Pancreas transplant can treat both exocrine and endocrine insufficiency and give long-term insulin-free survival and should be considered as a viable treatment option for patients who have undergone total pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis.