Background. In the past, enteric drainage or the omission of induction immunotherapy has been shown to be predictive of suboptimal outcomes of simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation. We have reassessed the need for bladder drainage and induction immunotherapy to optimize the outcome of SPK transplantation. Methods. One hundred consecutive recipients of SPK transplants who received mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus immunosuppression were studied. The first 50 recipients had bladder-drained pancreas allografts and received induction immunotherapy. The results were compared with the next 50 recipients who had enteric-drained pancreas allografts, which included a subgroup (n = 17 patients) who were randomized to receive no induction immunotherapy. Results. The 1-year actuarial patient, kidney, and pancreas survival rates in the bladder-drainage group were 98.0%, 94.0%, and 94.0%, respectively. The 1-year actuarial patient, kidney, and pancreas survival rates in the enteric-drainage group were 96.8%, 96.8%, and 89.4%, respectively. In the enteric-drainage group, the incidence of rejection at 1 year was 6.1% in recipients who received induction therapy versus 23.5% in recipients who did not receive induction therapy. The average number of readmissions per recipient was 1.8 in the bladder-drainage group versus 0.9 in the enteric-drainage group. Conclusions. Primary enteric drainage of the pancreas allograft in recipients of SPK transplantation is the preferred surgical technique in the tacrolimus/mycophenolate mofetil era.
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