Acute pancreatitis after renal transplantation is seldom seen yet a dreadful complication. The causes include traditional causes and immunosuppressive medications and viral infections. Classical symptoms are not always present at onset, causing delay in diagnosis. The available literature on pancreatitis in renal transplants is either as case reports or case series. Large studies with longer follow-up periods and outcome in renal transplant patients with pancreatitis are lacking. We conducted this retrospective study to analyze the incidence, clinical features, and causes of pancreatitis in our institute in post-azathioprine era.
We conducted a single center retrospective study of renal transplant recipients who suffered at least 1 episode of acute pancreatitis during a period from January 2002 to September 2018. We followed International Association of Pancreatology/American Pancreatic Association evidence-based guidelines for confirming diagnosis of acute pancreatitis and included only patients who fulfilled these criteria. Once the diagnosis is confirmed we retrospectively analyzed the etiology, clinical features, management and outcomes of renal transplant recipients with pancreatitis.
Twenty-six patients (men 81%; mean age 38.5 years) were included. Etiology included gallstones (19.3%), structural lesions (11.5%), viral infections (7.8%), and drugs. Clinical presentations, laboratory parameters were like pancreatitis in non-transplant patients. Graft dysfunction was noted in 20 patients (77%) and all showed either partial or complete recovery. Patient survival was high with 88% of the patients surviving the episode.
Pancreatitis after renal transplantation is a rare complication with outcomes better than what has been reported in the past.

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