Although steroid withdrawal in simultaneous kidney pancreas transplantation has been shown to be feasible, the results of early steroid withdrawal in immunologically solitary pancreas transplantation are not well known. This study evaluated an early steroid withdrawal protocol in this group. The results of steroid withdrawal at 21 d post-transplant in solitary pancreas transplant recipients was compared with a control group consisting of solitary pancreas transplant recipients maintained on steroids (MG). Additional immunosuppression consisted of rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin induction followed by tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil in both groups. The withdrawal group (WG, n = 22) consisted of 11 pancreas transplant alone (PTA), six pancreas after kidney (PAK), and five simultaneous cadaveric pancreas living kidney (SPLK) recipients. The steroid maintenance group (MG, n = 32) consisted of 8 PTA, 11 PAK, and 13 SPLK recipients. Recipient and donor demographic characteristics were similar. Seventy eight percent of MG patients had infection-related complications in the first year compared with 50% of the WG patients (p = 0.04). The one-yr rejection, pancreas graft, and patient survival rates were 27.3% 95.55%, and 100% in the WG, and 37.5%, 81.3%, and 93.8% in the MG respectively and not significantly different. We conclude that early corticosteroid withdrawal in isolated pancreas transplantation results in fewer infections and can be achieved without an increased risk of rejection or graft loss over the first year.
- Pancreas transplant
- Solitary pancreas transplantation
- Steroid withdrawal
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