Kidney graft biopsies were performed 2–3 yr after transplantation in eight type I (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients who had previously been subjected to kidney transplantation (six patients) or combined kidney and segmental pancreas transplantation (two patients). In five of the six patients that had undergone only kidney transplantation, light microscopic examination of the graft biopsy revealed changes compatible with diabetic nephropathy, and electron microscopic morphometry showed a thickening of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). In the two patients who had been subjected to combined pancreas and kidney transplantation, the kidney graft biopsy showed no light microscopic changes suggestive of diabetic nephropathy, and electron microscopy showed no thickening of the GBM. Thus, it appears to be possible to prevent the recurrence of diabetic nephropathy in human kidney allografts by simultaneous pancreas transplantation.

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