Background. Most pancreas transplants are performed with systemic venous delivery of insulin and bladder drainage of the exocrine secretions (systemic-bladder [S-B]). To develop a more physiologic procedure, we performed pancreas transplantations with portal venous delivery of insulin and enteric drainage of the exocrine secretions (portal-enteric [P-E]). Methods. During an 11-month period, we prospectively alternated 32 consecutive pancreas transplant recipients to either S-B (n = 16) or P-E (n = 16) drainage with standardized immunosuppression. Results. Patient, kidney, and pancreas graft survival rates after simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplantation were 91% S-B versus 92% P-E, 91% S-B versus 92% P-E, and 82% S-B versus 92% P-E, respectively. Pancreas graft survival rates after solitary pancreas transplantation were 80% S-B versus 75% P-E. There were no graft losses either to immunologic or infectious complications in either group, but the incidence of acute rejection was slightly higher in the S-B group (44% S-B vs 31% P-E, P = NS). The cost and length of the initial hospital stay were similar between groups. The incidence of operative complications, major infections, and cytomegalovirus infections were likewise comparable. However, the S-B group was characterized by a slight increase in the number of readmissions, urinary tract infections, and urologic complications. Furthermore, metabolic acidosis and dehydration were more common in the S-B group. Conclusions. Pancreas transplantation with P-E drainage can be performed with short-term results comparable to those of transplantation with S-B drainage.
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