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Impact of recipient age on whole organ pancreas transplantation


  • Conflict of interest: None.

Corresponding author: Jonathan A. Fridell, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, 550 N University Blvd, #4258, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

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The goal of this study was to assess the impact of recipient age on post-transplant outcome.


All pancreas transplants performed at Indiana University between 2003 and 2011 were reviewed. Demographic data were compared using standard chi-square and ANOVA testing. Standard Cox regression survival analysis was performed using a direct entry method for covariates.


Patients (n = 405) were divided by decade: <30 yr (n = 37), 30–39 (n = 109), 40–49 (n = 156), 50–59 (n = 85), and ≥60 yr of age (n = 18). Group demographics did not differ except for median ischemia time, which was between 7.0 and 8.5 h (p = 0.02). Early graft loss and one yr graft and patient survival were similar between the groups. Long-term patient survival demonstrated a trend toward decreased five-yr survival with increasing recipient age (p = NS). Graft survival at five yr by Cox regression was the lowest for the <30 yr group (74%), while all other groups were similar around 80% (p = NS).


No statistically significant differences in pancreas transplant outcomes were demonstrated when recipients were stratified by recipient age. These results suggest that older recipients can successfully undergo pancreas transplantation and expect five-yr outcomes similar to those seen in younger recipients.