Successful surgical salvage of pancreas allografts after complete venous thrombosis

Gaetano Ciancio, Juan F. Julian, Luis Fernandez, Joshua Miller, George W. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background. Complete venous thrombosis of the pancreas after simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation usually results in graft loss. We describe a technique that allows salvage of the graft after complete venous thrombosis. Methods. A total of 150 patients with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus/end stage renal disease underwent SPK over the past decade at the University of Miami. Of these, three patients developed complete venous thrombosis after induction therapy with anti-interleukin-2R antibody and i.v. tacrolimus. These three patients underwent surgical thrombectomy followed by heparinization and oral anticoagulation. The splenic vein was opened distally at the tall of the pancreas and the superior mesenteric vein at the level of the mesentery or head of the pancreas. Thrombectomy was performed with a Fogarty catheter. The portal anastomosis was not opened or manipulated. The arterial 'Y' graft was not clamped and the right iliac vein was controlled proximally with a double wrapped vessel-loop to contain possible thrombus. In one patient, the partially thrombosed splenic artery was opened at the tail of the pancreas and thrombectomy was performed in the same fashion. There were no apparent technical problems. A pancreatic biopsy was not performed, nor was acute rejection treated empirically. Results. Intraoperative and serial Doppler ultra-sound showed good flow through the allograft. In all three patients the exocrine and endocrine function of the pancreas was preserved with a mean follow-up of 15 months. Conclusions. The described surgical thrombectomy followed by systemic anticoagulation may be useful in the salvage of the allograft pancreas in case of complete venous thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-131
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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