Background: Successful pancreas transplantation requires surgical expertise and multidisciplinary medical management. The impact of transplant center volume on pancreas allograft survival remains unclear. Methods: We examined Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network data on 11 568 simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) and 4308 solitary pancreas (pancreas transplant alone and pancreas after kidney) transplants between 2000 and 2013. Results: Average annual transplant center volume was categorized by tertiles into low, medium, and high volume, respectively, as follows: 1 to 6 (n = 3861), 7 to 13 (n = 3891), and 14 to 34 (n = 3888) for SPK, and 1 to 3 (n = 1417), 4 to 10 (n = 1518), and 11 to 33 (n = 1377) for solitary pancreas transplants. Favorable donor characteristics were seen in low-volume centers. For SPK transplantation, low (adjusted hazard ration [aHR], 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34-1.8) and medium (aHR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.07-1.44) center volumes were associated with a higher risk of early pancreas graft failure at 3 months. The increased risk associated with low center volume extended to 1, 5, and 10 years. For solitary pancreas transplants, low, but not medium, center volume was associated with a higher risk of early pancreas graft failure at 3 months (aHR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.232-1.976), and this risk persisted over 10 years. Patients transplanted at high-volume centers had better pancreas survival rates across all categories of the Pancreas Donor Risk Index. Conclusion: On average, low center volume were associated with higher risk for pancreas failure. Future studies should seek to identify care processes that support optimal outcomes after pancreas transplantation irrespective of center volume.
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