• enteric drainage;
  • infection;
  • pancreas transplantation


New immunosuppressive protocols and advanced surgical technique resulted in an improved outcome of pancreatic transplantation (PTx) with infection remaining the most common complication. Seventy-two enteric-drained whole PTxs performed at the Innsbruck University Hospital between September 2002 and October 2004 were retrospectively analyzed. Prophylactic immunosuppression consisted of either the standard protocol consisting of single bolus antithymocyteglobuline (ATG) (Thymoglobulin, Sangstat or ATG Fresenius) induction (9 mg/kg), tacrolimus (TAC), mycophenylate mofetil (MMF) and steroids (38 patients) or a 4-day course of ATG (4 mg/kg) tacrolimus and steroids with MMF (n = 19), or Sirolimus (n = 15). Perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis consisted of Piperacillin/Tazobactam (4.5 g q 8 h) in combination with ciprofloxacin (200 mg q 12 h) and fluconazole (400 mg daily). Ganciclovir was used for cytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylaxis if donor was positive and recipient-negative. Patient, pancreas, and kidney graft survival at 1 year were 97.2%, 88.8%, and 93%, respectively, with no difference between the groups. All retransplants (n = 8) and single transplants (n = 8) as well as all type II diabetics and nine of 11 patients older 55 years received standard immunosuppression (IS). The rejection rate was 14% and infection rate 46% with no difference in terms of incidence or type according to the three groups. Severe infectious complications included intra-abdominal infection (n = 12), wound infection (n = 7), sepsis (n = 13), respiratory tract infection (n = 4), urinary tract infection (n = 12), herpes simplex/human herpes virus 6 infection (n = 5), CMV infection/disease (n = 7), post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD, n = 3), invasive filamentous fungal infection (n = 4), Clostridial/Rotavirus colitis (n = 1), and endocarditis (n = 1). All four patients in this series died of infectious complications (invasive aspergillosis n = 2) (one with Candida glabrata superinfection), invasive zygomycosis (n = 1), PTLD (n = 1). Five grafts were lost (vascular thrombosis n = 3, pancreatitis n = 1, noncompliance n = 1). Infection represented the most frequent complication in this series and all four deaths were of infectious origin. Better prophylaxis and management of infections now should be the primary target to be addressed in the field of pancreas transplantation.