, Volume 57, Issue 11, pp 2357–2365 | Cite as

In patients with type 1 diabetes simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplantation preserves long-term kidney graft ultrastructure and function better than transplantation of kidney alone

  • Jørn P. LindahlEmail author
  • Finn P. Reinholt
  • Ivar A. Eide
  • Anders Hartmann
  • Karsten Midtvedt
  • Hallvard Holdaas
  • Linda T. Dorg
  • Trine M. Reine
  • Svein O. Kolset
  • Rune Horneland
  • Ole Øyen
  • Knut Brabrand
  • Trond Jenssen



In patients with type 1 diabetes and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) we aimed to determine whether long-term normoglycaemia, as achieved by successful simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplantation, would preserve kidney graft structure and function better than live donor kidney (LDK) transplantation alone.


Estimated GFR (eGFR) was calculated in SPK (n = 25) and LDK (n = 17) recipients in a stable phase 3 months after transplantation and annually during follow-up. Kidney graft biopsies were obtained at follow-up for measurement of glomerular volume (light microscopy), glomerular basement membrane (GBM) and podocyte foot process widths and mesangial volume fraction (electron microscopy).


SPK and LDK recipients were similar in age and diabetes duration at engraftment. Donor age was higher in the LDK group. Median follow-up time was 10.1 years. Mean HbA1c levels during follow-up were 5.5 ± 0.4% (37 ± 5 mmol/mol) and 8.3 ± 1.5% (68 ± 16 mmol/mol) in the SPK and LDK group, respectively (p < 0.001). Compared with SPK recipients, LDK recipients had wider GBM (369 ± 109 nm vs 281 ± 57 nm; p = 0.008) and increased mesangial volume fraction (median 0.23 [range 0.13–0.59] vs 0.16 [0.10–0.41]; p = 0.007) at follow-up. Absolute eGFR change from baseline was −11 ± 21 and −23 ± 15 ml min−1 1.73 m−2 (p = 0.060), whereas eGFR slope was −1.1 (95% CI −1.7, −0.5) and −2.6 (95% CI −3.1, −2.1) ml min−1 1.73 m−2 per year in the SPK and LDK group, respectively (p = 0.001).


In patients with type 1 diabetes and long-term normoglycaemia after successful SPK transplantation, kidney graft ultrastructure and function were better preserved compared with LDK transplantation alone.


Diabetic nephropathy Glomerular basement membrane Glomerular filtration rate Glomerular mesangium Kidney transplantation Pancreatic transplantation Type 1 diabetes 



Angiotensin-converting enzyme


Angiotensin receptor blocker


Chronic allograft damage index


Calcineurin inhibitor


Diabetes Control and Complications Trial


Estimated glomerular filtration rate


End-stage renal disease


Glomerular basement membrane


Kidney transplantation alone


Live donor kidney


Maximal profile area


Pancreas after kidney


Simultaneous pancreas and kidney


Duality of interest

The authors declare that there is no duality of interest associated with this manuscript.

Contribution statement

JPL, FPR, AH and TJ designed the study, analysed and interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. IAE, KM, HH, LTD, TMR, SOK, RH, OØ and KB participated in the design of the study, interpreted the data and edited the manuscript. All authors read, commented on and approved the final version of the manuscript to be published. JPL, AH and TJ are responsible for the integrity of the work as a whole.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jørn P. Lindahl
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Finn P. Reinholt
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ivar A. Eide
    • 2
  • Anders Hartmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karsten Midtvedt
    • 2
  • Hallvard Holdaas
    • 2
  • Linda T. Dorg
    • 3
  • Trine M. Reine
    • 4
  • Svein O. Kolset
    • 4
  • Rune Horneland
    • 2
  • Ole Øyen
    • 2
  • Knut Brabrand
    • 5
  • Trond Jenssen
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Transplant MedicineOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of PathologyOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  4. 4.Institute of Basic Medical SciencesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  6. 6.Metabolic and Renal Research GroupUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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