Objectives: Graft-versus-host disease after solid-organ transplant is exceedingly rare. Although the precise pathogenetic mechanisms are unknown, a progressive increase in donor chimerism is a requirement for its development. The incidence of mixed donor chimerism and its timeline after simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant is unknown. Materials and Methods: After encountering 2 cases of graft-versus-host disease after simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant at our institution over a period of < 2 years, a collaborative pilot study was conducted by the bone marrow transplant, nephrology, and abdominal transplant surgery teams. We enrolled all consecutive patients undergoing sex-mismatched simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant over 1 year and longitudinally monitored donor chimerism using fluorescence in situ hybridization for sex chromosomes. Results: We found no evidence for chimerism in our 7 patients. In a comprehensive literature review, we found a total of 25 previously reported cases of graft-versus-host disease after kidney, pancreas, and simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants. The median onset of graft-versus-host disease was approximately 5 weeks after transplant, with a median of about 2 weeks of delay between first presentation and diagnosis. Skin, gut, and bone marrow were almost equally affected at initial presentation, and fever of unknown origin occurred in more than half of patients. The median survival measured from the first manifestation of graft-versus-host disease was only 48 days. Conclusions: Within the limitations related to small sample size, our results argue against an unusually high risk of graft-versus-host disease after simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant. Collaboration between solid-organ and stem cell transplant investigators can be fruitful and can improve our understanding of the complications that are shared between the 2 fields.
- Graft-versus-host disease
- Solid-organ transplant