Background. Solitary pancreas transplants, both pancreas transplant alone (PTA) and pancreas after kidney (PAK), have higher rejection rates and lower graft survivals than simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants (SPK). The aim of this study is to compare three different antibody induction regimens in solitary pancreas transplant recipients and to assess the role of surveillance pancreas biopsies in the management of these patients. Methods. Solitary pancreas transplant recipients between 01/98 to 02/00 (n=29) received induction with either daclizumab (1 mg/kg on day 0, 7, 14), OKT 3 (5 mg/day ×0-7), or thymoglobulin (1.5 mg/kg/day ×0-10). Maintenance immunosuppression was similar for the three groups. All rejections were biopsy-proven either by surveillance/protocol or when clinically indicated. Results. The 1-year graft survival was 89.3% overall and 91.7% in the thymoglobulin group. Thymoglobulin significantly decreased rejection in the first 6 months when compared with OKT3 or daclizumab (7.7 vs. 60 vs. 50%). Acute rejections were seen on surveillance biopsies in the absence of biochemical abnormalities in 40% of patients. Conclusions. Thymoglobulin induction regimen led to a low incidence of acute rejection and a high rate of graft survival in solitary pancreas transplants. In addition, surveillance biopsies were useful in the detection of early acute rejection in the absence of biochemical abnormalities.
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