Although it is well established that acute rejection is one of the major risk factors for chronic graft loss following kidney transplantation, its effect on longterm graft survival following simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplants (SKPTs) is less well known. We analyzed a large cohort of SKPTs and cadaver kidney transplants reported to the United Network for Organ Sharing database during 1988-97, to determine the impact of acute rejection episodes on long-term kidney and pancreas graft survival. Only patients whose kidney and pancreas grafts had survived for at least 1 year were included. Other potential risk factors influencing long-term graft survival were included in the analysis. Of the 4251 SKPTs, 45% had no acute rejection, 36% had kidney only rejection, 3% had pancreas only rejection, and 16% had both kidney and pancreas rejection within the 1st year post transplant. The 5-year kidney and pancreas graft survival rates adjusted for other risk factors were 91% and 85%, respectively; for those with no acute rejection episodes, 88% and 84%, respectively; for those with kidney only rejection, 94% and 83%, respectively; for those with pancreas only rejection; and 86% and 78%, respectively, for those with both kidney and pancreas rejection. The relative risk (RR) of kidney graft failure was 1.32 when acute rejection involved the kidney graft only, while the RR was 1.53 when the rejection involved both organs. We conclude that acute rejection episodes have a negative impact on the long-term kidney graft survival in the SKPT population similar to that in the cadaver kidney transplant population. Patients who had acute rejection episodes of both kidney and pancreas have the worst long-term graft survival.
- Acute rejection
- Graft survival
- Kidney-pancreas transplantation
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