Renal Pedicle Torsion after Simultaneous Kidney-Pancreas Transplantation

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Background: Simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplantation has become a recognized therapy for type I diabetes mellitus patients with diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. In the vast majority of these procedures, both grafts are placed intraperitoneally, which reduces posttransplant morbidity. Recently, in some of our recipients, we noted renal dysfunction related to complications of the renal pedicle. Our objectives in this study were to identify the cause of this renal dysfunction and to prevent its occurrence in future recipients.

Study Design: We undertook a retrospective chart review of simultaneous kidney-pancreas recipients who experienced renal dysfunction related to renal pedicle complications.

Results: We found four recipients with renal dysfunction related to renal pedicle torsion, diagnosed by serial ultrasound scans and kidney graft biopsies. Early diagnosis allowed salvage of three kidney grafts, but one was lost after late diagnosis.

Conclusions: A high level of suspicion is needed to diagnose renal pedicle torsion. If simultaneous kidney-pancreas recipients have recurrent renal dysfunction, and rejection has been excluded, serial ultrasound scans with color flow Doppler examinations are needed. Once the diagnosis is made, a nephropexy to the anterior abdominal wall is indicated to prevent further torsion and save the kidney graft. We recommend prophylactic nephropexy of left renal grafts if the renal pedicle is ≥5 cm long and if there is a 2 cm or more discrepancy between the length of the artery and the vein.



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