Current state of pancreas transplantation in Japan based on the nationwide registry

Yoshito Tomimaru, Hidetoshi Eguchi, Yuichiro Doki, Toshinori Ito, Takashi Kenmochi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In Japan, 437 pancreas transplantations (PTx) were carried out between 2000 and 2019. Clinical data for all PTx cases are registered in the Japan Pancreas Transplant Registry of the Japan Society for Pancreas and Islet Transplantation. Here we analyzed the registry data to describe the current status of PTx in Japan. The 437 PTx included 410 from deceased donors (407 from brain-dead and 3 from non-heart-beating donors) and 27 from living donors. We investigated the clinical characteristics of the 410 PTx from deceased donors. The rate of marginal donors using expanded donor criteria was higher in Japan than in other countries. At 1/5/10 years post-PTx, the overall survival rates were 95.8%/94.2%/88.7%, and the graft survival rates were 85.9%/76.2%/67.4% for pancreas and 93.2%/90.8%/78.2% for kidney (non-censored for death). These rates were comparable to those in other countries. When stratified by PTx category, survival was significantly better following simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation (SPK) compared to pancreas-after-kidney transplantation (PAK) or PTx alone (PTA). Immunological rejection was more frequently the cause of graft loss in PAK/PTA cases than in SPK cases, potentially contributing to the poorer survival in PAK/PTA. These outcomes highlight two main concerns: substantial incidence of pancreas graft loss, and inferior outcomes after PAK/PTA. Overall, PTx outcome is favorable in Japan, despite the high rate of marginal donors. To improve outcomes, it is important to prevent and manage each cause of pancreas graft loss. Overcoming the poorer survival in PAK/PTA may require new immunosuppressive protocols or allogenic islet transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-501
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Gastroenterological Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 07-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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