(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Type 1 diabetics in need of a kidney transplant
may increase their long-term survival rate with a simultaneous
pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplant, although this option also brings some
increased surgical risks.
SPK transplants involve performing a pancreas transplant at the same time as
a kidney transplant. Under the condition that both organs function after one
year, the long-term survival rate is 89 percent. This is 9 percent higher
than patients receiving kidneys from live donors and 24 percent higher than
those receiving kidneys from deceased donors.
The main risk that comes along with an SPK lies in the 2 percent increase in
likelihood of dying in the first year. In addition, the chance that the
transplanted pancreas will fail in the first year increases by 10 to 15
percent. In that case, the survival rate is decreased to 74 percent.
These results may help diabetic patients and their doctors decide between a
kidney transplant alone and an SPK. One theory behind why SPK patients live
longer is improved diabetes control helps them avoid cardiovascular disease.
SOURCE: To be published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society