The First Simultaneous Kidney–Adrenal Gland–Pancreas Transplantation: Outcome at 1 Year

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Abstract

Adrenal insufficiency is a rare but life-threatening disease. Replacement therapy sometimes fails to prevent an acute adrenal crisis and most often does not lead to restoration of well-being. We report here the 1-year outcome of the first simultaneous kidney–adrenal gland–pancreas transplantation in a 33-year-old patient with type 1 diabetes and concomitant autoimmune adrenal insufficiency. En bloc left adrenal gland and kidney grafts were anastomosed on the left iliac vessels in normal vascular conditions and the pancreas graft was anastomosed on the right iliac vessels. The immunosuppressive regimen was not modified by the addition of the adrenal gland. We observed no additional morbidity due to the adrenal gland transplantation, as there were no surgical complications. One-year kidney and pancreas graft functions were satisfactory (estimated glomerular filtration rate: 55 mL/min/1.73 m2 and HbA1c: 4.8%). The adrenal graft functioned well at 12 months with a normalization of cortisol and aldosterone baseline levels. Functional imaging at 3 months showed good uptake of [123I]-metaiodobenzylguanidine by the adrenal graft. Transplantation of the adrenal gland en bloc with the left kidney appears to be a good therapeutic option in patients with adrenal insufficiency awaiting kidney or kidney–pancreas transplantation.

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