• HTK solution;
  • pancreas transplant;
  • pancreas transplantation alone;
  • simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation;
  • UW preservation solution

Prior single-center studies have reported that pancreas allograft survival is not affected by preservation in histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) versus University of Wisconsin (UW) solution. To expand on these studies, we analyzed the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database of pancreas transplants from July 2004, through February 2008, to determine if preservation with HTK (N = 1081) versus UW (N = 3311) impacted graft survival. HTK preservation of pancreas allografts increased significantly in this time frame, from 15.4% in 2004 to 25.4% in 2008. After adjusting for other recipient, donor, graft and transplant center factors that impact graft survival, HTK preservation was independently associated with an increased risk of pancreas graft loss (hazard ratio [HR] 1.30, p = 0.014), especially in pancreas allografts with cold ischemia time (CIT) ≥12 h (HR 1.42, p = 0.017). This reduced survival with HTK preservation as compared to UW preservation was seen in both simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplants and pancreas alone (PA) transplants. Furthermore, HTK preservation was also associated with a 1.54-fold higher odds of early (<30 days) pancreas graft loss as compared to UW (OR 1.54, p = 0.008). These results suggest that the increasing use of HTK for abdominal organ preservation should be re-examined.