|Authors||Stratta RJ, Gruessner AC, Odorico JS, Fridell JA, Gruessner RW|
|Journal||Am. J. Transplant. Volume: 16 Issue: 9 Pages: 2556-62|
|Publish Date||2016 Sep|
In the past decade, the annual number of pancreas transplantations performed in the United States has steadily declined. From 2004 to 2011, the overall number of simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantations in the United States declined by 10%, whereas the decreases in pancreas after kidney (PAK) and pancreas transplant alone (PTA) procedures were 55% and 34%, respectively. Paradoxically, this has occurred in the setting of improvements in graft and patient survival outcomes and transplanting higher-risk patients. Only 11 centers in the United States currently perform ≥20 pancreas transplantations per year, and most centers perform <5 pancreas transplantations annually; many do not perform PAKs or PTAs. This national trend in decreasing numbers of pancreas transplantations is related to a number of factors including lack of a primary referral source, improvements in diabetes care and management, changing donor and recipient considerations, inadequate training opportunities, and increasing risk aversion because of regulatory scrutiny. A national initiative is needed to “reinvigorate” SPK and PAK procedures as preferred transplantation options for appropriately selected uremic patients taking insulin regardless of C-peptide levels or “type” of diabetes. Moreover, many patients may benefit from PTAs because all categories of pancreas transplantation are not only life enhancing but also life extending procedures.