Pancreas-kidney transplantation in Japan: Impact of cyclosporine on the development of immunosuppressive therapy

A. Sugitani, M. Ishibashi, T. Ito, K. Nakajima, N. Matsuno, Y. Kanazawa, K. Motoyama, H. Yamamoto, S. Inoue, M. Ota, J. I. Yoshida, M. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of pancreas transplants reached 16,043 worldwide in October 2001, with 1800 performed in 2000. Since the introduction of cyclosporine (CyA) in 1979, a regimen consisting of CyA, azathioprine, and steroids has been shown to improve long-term survival of clinical transplants. In Japan, the first simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation was performed in 1984, using organs from a brain-dead donor. This procedure was followed by 14 pancreas transplantations from cardiac arrest donors. All cases utilized a CyA-based regimen with antilymphocyte globulin or OKT3 induction. Six of the 15 recipients required less insulin postoperatively. Under a new transplant law enforced in 1997, 10 pancreas/pancreas-kidney transplantations were performed in patients diagnosed with end-stage renal failure due to diabetes mellitus type 1. In 1 patient, the graft failed due to venous thrombosis, but the other 9 recipients achieved an increased quality of life without the need for insulin or for dialysis. Pancreas transplantation represents an effective treatment worldwide and in Japan, due to the availability of CyA or tacrolimus in combination with other agents such as antilymphocyte globulin, OKT3, or mycophenolate mofetil. This investigation presents the results of pancreas-kidney transplantation in Japan, in comparison with those worldwide, and describes a recent case in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S356-S361
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number2 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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