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MP 7.03.02 Allogeneic Pancreas Transplant

Medical Policy    


Original Policy Date

Last Review Status/Date
Reviewed with literature search/2:2013



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Our medical policies are designed for informational purposes only and are not an authorization, or an explanation of benefits, or a contract.  Receipt of benefits is subject to satisfaction of all terms and conditions of the coverage.  Medical technology is constantly changing, and we reserve the right to review and update our policies periodically. 


Transplantation of a normal pancreas is a treatment method for patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Pancreas transplantation can restore glucose control and is intended to prevent, halt, or reverse the secondary complications from diabetes mellitus.

Achievement of insulin independence with resultant decreased morbidity and increased quality of life is the primary health outcome of pancreas transplantation. While pancreas transplantation is generally not considered a life-saving treatment, in a small subset of patients who experience life-threatening complications from diabetes, pancreas transplantation could be considered life-saving. Pancreas transplant alone (PTA) has also been investigated in patients following total pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis. In addition to the immune rejection issues common to all allograft transplants, autoimmune destruction of beta cells has been observed in the transplanted pancreas, presumably from the same mechanism responsible for type 1 diabetes. (1)

Pancreas transplantation occurs in several different scenarios such as: 1) a diabetic patient with renal failure who may receive a cadaveric simultaneous pancreas/kidney transplant (SPK); 2) a diabetic patient who may receive a cadaveric or living-related pancreas transplant after a kidney transplantation (pancreas after kidney, i.e., PAK); or 3) a non-uremic diabetic patient with specific severely disabling and potentially life-threatening diabetic problems who may receive a PTA. The total number of adult pancreas transplants (pancreas and pancreas/kidney) in the U.S. peaked at 1,484 in 2004; the number has since declined. (2) In 2011, there were 287 pancreas transplants and 795 pancreas/kidney transplants in the U.S.

According to International Registry data, the proportion of pancreas transplant recipients worldwide who have type 2 diabetes has increased over time, from 2% in 1995 to 7% in 2010. (3) In 2010, approximately 8% of SPK, 5% of PAK, and 1% of PTA were performed in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The approach to retransplantation varies according to the cause of failure. Surgical/technical complications such as venous thrombosis are the leading cause of pancreatic graft loss among diabetic patients. Graft loss from chronic rejection may result in sensitization, increasing both the difficulty of finding a cross-matched donor and the risk of rejection of a subsequent transplant. Each center has its own guidelines based on experience; some transplant centers may wait to allow reconstitution of the immune system before initiating retransplant with an augmented immunosuppression protocol.


A combined pancreas-kidney transplant may be considered medically necessary in insulin-dependent diabetic patients with uremia.

Pancreas transplant after a prior kidney transplant may be considered medically necessary in patients with insulin dependent diabetes.

Pancreas transplant alone may be considered medically necessary in patients with severely disabling and potentially life-threatening complications due to hypoglycemia unawareness and labile insulin dependent diabetes that persists in spite of optimal medical management.

Pancreas retransplant after a failed primary pancreas transplant may be considered medically necessary.

Policy Guidelines


Potential contraindications subject to the judgment of the transplant center:

  1. Known current malignancy, including metastatic cancer
  2. Recent malignancy with high risk of recurrence
  3. Untreated systemic infection making immunosuppression unsafe, including chronic infection
  4. Other irreversible end-stage disease not attributed to kidney or pancreatic disease
  5. History of cancer with a moderate risk of recurrence
  6. Systemic disease that could be exacerbated by immunosuppression
  7. Psychosocial conditions or chemical dependency affecting ability to adhere to therapy

Pancreas Specific

Candidates for pancreas transplant alone should additionally meet 1 of the following severity of illness criteria:

  • Documentation of severe hypoglycemia unawareness as evidenced by chart notes or emergency room visits; OR
  • Documentation of potentially life-threatening labile diabetes as evidenced by chart notes or hospitalization for diabetic ketoacidosis.

In addition, the vast majority of pancreas transplant patients will have type 1 diabetes mellitus. Those transplant candidates with type 2 diabetes mellitus, in addition to being insulin-dependent, should also not be obese (body mass index [BMI] should be 32 or less). According to International registry data, in 2010, 7% of pancreas transplant recipients had type 2 diabetes. (3)

Multiple Transplants

Although there are no standard guidelines regarding multiple pancreas transplants, the following information may aid in case review:

  • If there is early graft loss resulting from technical factors (e.g., venous thrombosis), a retransplant may generally be performed without substantial additional risk.
  • Long-term graft losses may result from chronic rejection, which is associated with increased risk of infection following long-term immunosuppression, and sensitization, which increases the difficulty of finding a negative cross-match. Some transplant centers may wait to allow reconstitution of the immune system before initiating retransplant with an augmented immunosuppression protocol. 

Benefit Application
BlueCard/National Account Issues

Transplant requests should be reviewed by the Plan medical director or his or her designee. Only patients accepted for transplantation by an approved transplantation center and actively listed for transplant should be considered for precertification or prior approval. Guidelines should be followed for transplant network or consortiums, if applicable.

Pancreas transplants should be considered for coverage under the transplant benefit.

What is covered under the scope of the human organ transplant (HOT) benefit needs to be considered. Typically, the following are covered under the HOT benefit:

  • hospitalization of the recipient for medically recognized transplants from a donor to a transplant recipient;
  • evaluation tests requiring hospitalization to determine the suitability of both potential and actual donors, when such tests cannot be safely and effectively performed on an outpatient basis;
  • hospital room, board, and general nursing in semi-private rooms;
  • special care units, such as coronary and intensive care;
  • hospital ancillary services;
  • physicians’ services for surgery, technical assistance, administration of anesthetics, and medical care;
  • acquisition, preparation, transportation, and storage of organ;
  • diagnostic services;
  • drugs that require a prescription by federal law.

Expenses incurred in the evaluation and procurement of organs and tissues are benefits when billed by the hospital. Included in these expenses may be specific charges for participation with registries for organ procurement, operating rooms, supplies, use of hospital equipment, and transportation of the tissue or organ to be evaluated.

Administration of products with a specific transplant benefit needs to be defined as to:

  • when the benefit begins (at the time of admission for the transplant or once the patient is determined eligible for a transplant, which may include tests or office visits prior to transplant);
  • when the benefit ends (at the time of discharge from the hospital or at the end of required follow-up, including the immunosuppressive drugs administered on an outpatient basis).

Coverage usually is not provided for:

  • HOT services, for which the cost is covered/funded by governmental, foundation, or charitable grants;
  • organs sold rather than donated to the recipient;
  • an artificial organ.


This policy was created in 1996 and updated regularly with searches of the MEDLINE database. The most recent search was performed for the period December 2011 through January 14, 2013. Much of the published literature consists of case series reported by single centers and registry data. The extant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) compare immunosuppression regimens and surgical techniques and therefore do not address the comparison of pancreas transplantation to insulin therapy, or simultaneous pancreas/kidney (SPK) transplant to insulin therapy and hemodialysis.

This policy is based in part on a 1998 TEC Assessment, which focused on pancreas graft survival and health outcomes associated with both pancreas transplant alone (PTA) and pancreas after kidney transplant (PAK). (4) A 2001 TEC Assessment focused on the issue of pancreas retransplant. (5) The assessments and subsequent evidence offer the following observations and conclusions:

Pancreas after Kidney (PAK) Transplant

PAK transplantation allows the uremic patient the benefits of a living-related kidney graft, if available and the benefits of a subsequent pancreas transplant that is likely to result in improved quality of life compared to a kidney transplant alone. Uremic patients for whom a cadaveric kidney graft is available, but a pancreas graft is not simultaneously available benefit similarly from a later pancreas transplant. Based on International Pancreas Registry data, at 5 years post-transplant, the patient survival rate after PAK is 83%. (3)

In 2009, Fridell and colleagues reported a retrospective review (n=203) of a single center’s experience with PAK and SPK since 2003, when current induction/tacrolimus immunosuppressive strategies became standard. (6) Of the cases studied, 61 (30%) were PAK and 142 (70%) were SPK. One-year patient survival rates were 98% and 95% (PAK and SPK, respectively; p=0.44). Pancreas graft survival rates at 1 year were observed to be 95% and 90%, respectively (p=0.28). The authors concluded that in the modern immunosuppressive era, PAK should be considered as an acceptable alternative to SPK in candidates with an available living kidney donor.

In 2012, Bazarbachi and colleagues reviewed a single center’s experience with PAK and SPK. (7) Between 2002 and 2010, 172 pancreas transplants were performed in diabetic patients; 123 SPK and 49 PAK. The median length of time between kidney and pancreas transplantation in the PAK group was 4.8 years. Graft and patient survival rates were similar in the 2 groups. Death-censored pancreas graft survival rates for SPK and PAK were 94% and 90% at 1 year, 92% and 90% at 3 years, and 85% and 85% at 5 years (all respectively, p=0.93). Patient survival rates (calculated beginning at the time of pancreas transplantation) in the SPK versus PAK groups were 98.3% and 100% after 1 year, 96.4% and 100% after 3 years, and 94.2% and 100% after 5 years (all respectively, p=0.09).

Kleinclauss and colleagues retrospectively examined data from diabetic kidney transplant recipients (n=307) from a single center and compared renal graft survival rates in those who subsequently received a pancreatic transplant to those who did not. (8) The comparative group was analyzed separately depending on whether they were medically eligible (KTA-E) for pancreas transplant, but chose not to proceed for financial or personal reasons, or were ineligible (KTA-I) for medical reasons. The KTA-I (n=57) group differed significantly at baseline from both the PAK group (n=175) and the KTA-E group (n=75) with respect to age, type of diabetes, and dialysis experience; kidney graft survival rates were lower than either of the other groups, with 1-, 5-, and 10-year rates of 75%, 54%, and 22%, respectively (p<0.0001). The PAK and KTA-E groups were similar in age, race, type of diabetes, and dialysis experience. The authors compared 1--, 5-, and 10-year kidney graft survival rates in PAK patients with those in the KTA-E group: 98%, 82%, and 67% versus 100%, 84%, and 62%, respectively, and concluded that the subsequent transplant of a pancreas after a living donor kidney transplant does not adversely affect patient or kidney graft survival rates.

Pancreas Transplant Alone (PTA)

PTA graft survival has improved in recent years. According to International Registry data 1-year graft function increased from 51.5% in 1987-1993 to 77.8% in 2006-2010 (p<0.0001). (3) One-year immunologic graft loss remains higher (6%) after PTA than PAK (3.7%) or SPK (1.8%). In carefully selected patients with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and severely disabling and potentially life-threatening complications due to hypoglycemia unawareness and labile diabetes that persists despite optimal medical management, the benefits of PTA were judged to outweigh the risk of performing pancreas transplantation with subsequent immunosuppression.

The majority of patients undergoing PTA are those with either hypoglycemic unawareness or labile diabetes. However, other exceptional circumstances may exist where nonuremic IDDM patients have significant morbidity risks due to secondary complications of diabetes (i.e., peripheral neuropathy) that exceed those of the transplant surgery and subsequent chronic immunosuppression. Because there is virtually no published evidence regarding outcomes of medical management in this very small group of exceptional diabetic patients, it is not possible to generalize about which circumstances represent appropriate indications for pancreas transplantation alone. Case-by-case consideration of each patient’s clinical situation may be the best option for determining the balance of risks and benefits.

Noting that nephrotoxic immunosuppression may exacerbate diabetic renal injury after PTA, in 2008 Scalea et al. reported a single institutional review of 123 patients who received 131 PTA for development of renal failure. (9) Mean graft survival was 3.3 years (range, 0–11.3), and 21 patients were lost to follow-up. Mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was 88.9 pre-transplantation versus 55.6 post-transplantation, with mean follow-up of 3.7 years. All but 16 patients had a decrease in eGFR, and mean decrement was 32.1 mg/min/1.73. Thirteen developed end-stage renal disease, which required kidney transplantation at a mean of 4.4 years. The authors suggested that patients should be made aware of the risk and only the most appropriate patients offered PTA. Future updates of this policy will continue to follow this clinical topic.

Simultaneous Pancreas/Kidney (SPK) Transplant

According to International Registry data through 2005, recent 5-year graft survival rates for SPK transplants are 72% for the pancreas and 80% for the kidney. (10) Ten-year graft survival rates have reached almost 60% for SPK transplants.

In 2010, Mora and colleagues described the long-term outcome of 12 patients 15 years following SPK transplant. (11) Metabolic measures of glucose control were measured at 1, 5, 10, and 15 years following the procedure. Of this subset of patients, 6 (50%) had non-diabetic glucose challenge tests. Basal serum insulin levels declined over this period as well, from 24 mU/L to 16 mU/L at 1 and 15 years, respectively. The authors conclude that in a select group of patients whose pancreatic graft continued to function after 15 years, some glycemic control continued, albeit in a diminished fashion. It should be noted that this represents a small fraction of the 367 patients receiving the SPK transplant at this single center (12 of 367 SPK; 3.3%). The number of allograft survivals at 5 or more, and 10 or more years in this study was 43 (11.7%) and 28 (7.6%), respectively.

The improved glycemic control that may occur in SPK transplant patients, principally in those with labile disease while on medical therapy alone, is purported to reduce risk of complications from the diabetic disease. In 2009, Davenport and colleagues published results of a registry review (n=58) on cardiovascular risk factors in an Irish study of SPK transplant recipients. (12) Glycosylated hemoglobin values fell from a mean of 8.1 to 5.2 (p<0.0001) from pre-transplant levels. Similar statistically significant declines were seen in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and creatinine. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were likewise improved but with a greater range of pre- and post-transplant variability. These endpoints are commonly accepted as surrogates for cardiovascular risk. The authors compared both a surgical method (bladder vs. enteric drainage) and mode of immunosuppression (cyclosporine vs. tacrolimus) on changes to blood pressure and cholesterol. No significant differences were found in either measure based on surgical drainage method, nor did immunosuppressive therapy have an impact on blood pressure reduction. Cholesterol reduction was greater in the cyclosporine than the tacrolimus group (-1.3 to -0.2, respectively), favoring the less contemporary strategy. The authors note that this is in contrast to other recently published studies favoring both enteric drainage and tacrolimus. While this single-arm study suggests beneficial cardiovascular effects from transplant, other factors such as rejection rates are more likely to influence the conditions under which transplantations take place, and this study’s data do not lead to conclusions that would change the policy statement.

In 2011, Sampaio and colleagues published an analysis of data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. (13) The investigators compared outcomes in 6,141 patients with type 1 diabetes and 582 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent SPK between 2000 and 2007. In adjusted analyses, outcomes were similar in the 2 groups. After adjusting for other factors such as body weight; dialysis time; and cardiovascular comorbidities, type 2 diabetes was not associated with an increased risk of pancreas or kidney graft survival, or mortality compared to type 1 diabetes.

Pancreas Retransplantation

The U.S.-based Organ Procurement Transfer Network (OPTN) reported data on transplants performed between 1997 and 2004. (2) Patient survival rates after repeat transplants were similar to survival rates after primary transplants. For example, the 1-year survival rate was 94.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 92.6 to 95.3%) after a primary pancreas transplant and 95.6% (95% CI: 92.7 to 98.5%) after a repeat pancreas transplant. The numbers of patients transplanted was not reported, but the OPTN data stated that 1,217 patients were alive 1 year after primary transplant and 255 after repeat transplants. Three-year patient survival rates were 89.5% (95% CI: 87.8 to 91.2%) after primary transplants and 89.7% (95% CI: 85.9 to 93.5) after repeat transplants. One-year graft survival rates were 78.2% (95% CI: 76.0 to 80.5%) after primary pancreas transplants and 70.4% (95% CI: 64.8 to 76.0%) after repeat transplants.

Data are similar for patients receiving combined kidney/pancreas transplants, but follow-up data are only available on a small number of patients who had repeat kidney/pancreas transplants so estimates of survival rates in this group are imprecise. Three-year patient survival rates were 90.0% (95% CI: 89.0 to 91.0%) after primary combined transplant and 79.9% (95% CI: 63.8 to 95.9%) after a repeat combined transplant. The number of patients who were living 3 years after transplant was 2,907 after a primary combined procedure and 26 after a repeat combined procedure.

In 2013, Buron and colleagues reported on their experience with pancreas retransplantation in France and Geneva. (14) Between 1976 and 2008, 568 pancreas transplants were performed at 2 centers, including 37 repeat transplants. Patient survival after a repeat pancreas transplant was 100% after 1 year and 89% after 5 years. Graft survival was 64% at 1 year and 46% at 5 years. Among the 17 patients who underwent a second transplant in a later time period i.e., between 1995 and 2007, graft survival was 71% at 1 year and 59% at 5 years. In this more recently transplanted group, graft survival rates were similar to primary pancreas transplants, which was 79% at 1 year and 69% at 5 years.

Immunosuppressive Regimen

Pancreas transplantation requires T cell autoantibody induction, which most solid organ transplantations do not. As a consequence, a variety of studies, including RCTs, have examined various immunosuppressive regimens. (15-20) This high-quality evidence adds to our understanding of transplant management but does not compare pancreas transplant to alternatives and therefore does not contribute to the evidence base for this policy.

HIV+ Transplant Recipients

The Organ Procurement Transfer Network (OPTN) policy on Identification of Transmissible Diseases in Organ Recipients states: “Potential candidate for organ transplantation whose test for HIV is positive should not be excluded from candidacy for organ transplantation unless there is a documented contraindication to transplantation based on local policy.” (21)

In 2006, the British HIV Association and the British Transplantation Society Standards Committee published guidelines for kidney transplantation in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. (22) As described above, these criteria may be extrapolated to other organs. The guidelines recommend that any patient with end-stage organ disease with a life expectancy of at least 5 years is considered appropriate for transplantation under the following conditions:

  • CD4 count greater than 200 cells/microliter for at least 6 months
  • Undetectable HIV viremia (<50 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL) for at least 6 months
  • Demonstrable adherence and a stable HAART [highly active antiretroviral therapy] regimen for at least 6 months
  • Absence of AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome]-defining illness following successful immune reconstitution after HAART.


Several 2011 studies addressed pancreas transplantation in individuals 50 years of age or older. A study by Afaneh and colleagues reviewed data on 17 individuals at least 50 years-old and 119 individuals younger than 50 years who had a pancreas transplant at a single institution in the U.S. (23) The 2 groups had similar rates of surgical complications, acute rejection and non-surgical infections. Overall patient survival was similar. Three- and 5-year survival rates were 93% and 90% in the younger group and 92% and 82%, all consecutively, in the older group. Schenker and colleagues in Germany compared outcomes in 69 individuals at least 50 years-old and 329 individuals younger than 50 years who had received a pancreas transplant. (24) Mean duration of follow-up was 7.7 years. One-, 5-, and 10-year patient and graft survival rates were similar in the 2 groups. For example, the 5-year patient survival rate was 89% in both groups. The 5-year pancreas grant survival rate was 76% in the older group and 72% in the younger group. The authors of both studies, as well as the authors of a commentary accompanying the Schenker article, (25) agreed that individuals age 50 years and older are suitable candidates for pancreas transplantation.


The literature, consisting primarily of case series and registry data, demonstrate graft survival rates comparable to other solid organ transplants, as well as attendant risks associated with the immunosuppressive therapy necessary to prevent allograft rejection. No randomized controlled trials have compared any form of pancreas transplant to insulin therapy. Pancreas transplant may be considered medically necessary in patients who are undergoing, or have undergone, kidney transplantation for renal failure. It may also be considered medically necessary as a stand-alone treatment in patients with hypoglycemia unawareness and labile diabetes despite optimal medical therapy and in whom severe complications have developed.

Practice Guidelines and Position Statements

In 2010, the Board of Directors of OPTN/UNOS approved changes to address concerns related to local variations in the allocation system for pancreas transplant. (26) The policy changes attempt to reduce the discarding of pancreas donations that have been declined in the context of PTA but which may have been utilized if offered in the setting of SPK. The effect of the policy changes on availability of pancreas donations for transplant alone or in combination with kidney transplants is unknown.

A technology assessment was produced by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health in 2007. (27) The authors did not identify any studies that would contribute additional evidence to this policy. The assessment states: “Given that pancreas transplantation has been widely disseminated for years, it is unlikely that well-designed RCTs that examine pancreas transplantation will occur because ethical and logical complications will prevent this…Pancreas transplantation is an accepted treatment for patients with type I diabetes and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). This has occurred despite the absence of high quality, robust evidence.”

Medicare National Coverage

Allogeneic pancreas transplant is covered under Medicare when performed in a facility that is approved by Medicare as meeting institutional coverage criteria. (28) The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made the following national coverage decision regarding pancreas transplant for Medicare recipients:

A. General

Pancreas transplantation is performed to induce an insulin-independent, euglycemic state in diabetic patients. The procedure is generally limited to those patients with severe secondary complications of diabetes, including kidney failure. However, pancreas transplantation is sometimes performed on patients with labile diabetes and hypoglycemic unawareness.

B. Nationally Covered Indications

Effective for services performed on or after July 1, 1999, whole organ pancreas transplantation is nationally covered by Medicare when performed simultaneous with or after a kidney transplant. If the pancreas transplant occurs after the kidney transplant, immunosuppressive therapy begins with the date of discharge from the inpatient stay for the pancreas transplant.

Effective for services performed on or after April 26, 2006, pancreas transplants alone (PA) are reasonable and necessary for Medicare beneficiaries in the following limited circumstances (29):

  1. PA will be limited to those facilities that are Medicare-approved for kidney transplantation.
  2. Patients must have a diagnosis of type I diabetes:
    • Patient with diabetes must be beta cell autoantibody positive; or
    • Patient must demonstrate insulinopenia defined as a fasting C-peptide level that is less than or equal to 110% of the lower limit of normal of the laboratory's measurement method. Fasting C-peptide levels will only be considered valid with a concurrently obtained fasting glucose <225 mg/dL;
  3. Patients must have a history of medically-uncontrollable labile (brittle) insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus with documented recurrent, severe, acutely life-threatening metabolic complications that require hospitalization. Aforementioned complications include frequent hypoglycemia unawareness or recurring severe ketoacidosis, or recurring severe hypoglycemic attacks;
  4. Patients must have been optimally and intensively managed by an endocrinologist for at least 12 months with the most medically-recognized advanced insulin formulations and delivery systems;
  5. Patients must have the emotional and mental capacity to understand the significant risks associated with surgery and to effectively manage the lifelong need for immunosuppression; and,
  6. Patients must otherwise be a suitable candidate for transplantation.

C. Nationally Non-Covered Indications

The following procedure is not considered reasonable and necessary within the meaning of section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act:

Transplantation of partial pancreatic tissue or islet cells (except in the context of a clinical trial (see section 260.3.1 of the National Coverage Determinations Manual)


  1. Hirshberg B. The cardinal features of recurrent autoimmunity in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant recipients. Curr Diab Rep 2010; 10(5):321-2.
  2. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Available online at: Last accessed January, 2013.
  3. Gruessner AC. 2011 update on pancreas transplantation: Comprehensive trend analysis of 25,000 cases followed up over the course of twenty-four years at the International Pancreas Transplant Registry. Rev Diabet Stud 2011; 8(1):6-16.
  4. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Pancreas Transplantation. TEC Assessments 1998; Volume 13, Tab 7.
  5. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Pancreas Retransplantation. TEC Assessments 2001; Volume 16, Tab 23.
  6. Fridell JA, Mangus RS, Hollinger EF et al. The case for pancreas after kidney transplantation. Clin Transplant 2009; 23(4):447-53.
  7. Bazerbachi F, Selzner M, Marquez MA et al. Pancreas-After-Kidney Versus Synchronous Pancreas-Kidney Transplantation: Comparison of Intermediate-Term Results. Transplantation 2012.
  8. Kleinclauss F, Fauda M, Sutherland DE et al. Pancreas after living donor kidney transplants in diabetic patients: impact on long-term kidney graft function. Clin Transplant 2009; 23(4):437-46.
  9. Scalea JR, Butler CC, Munivenkatappa RB et al. Pancreas transplant alone as an independent risk factor for the development of renal failure: a retrospective study. Transplantation 2008; 86(12):1789-94.
  10. Gruessner AC, Sutherland DE, Gruessner RW. Long-term outcome after pancreas transplantation. Curr Opin Organ Transplant 2012; 17(1):100-5.
  11. Mora M, Ricart MJ, Casamitjana R et al. Pancreas and kidney transplantation: long-term endocrine function. Clin Transplant 2010; 24(6):E236-40.
  12. Davenport C, Hamid N, O'Sullivan EP et al. The impact of pancreas and kidney transplant on cardiovascular risk factors (analyzed by mode of immunosuppression and exocrine drainage). Clin Transplant 2009; 23(5):616-20.
  13. Sampaio MS, Kuo HT, Bunnapradist S. Outcomes of simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation in type 2 diabetic patients. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2011; 6(5):1198-206.
  14. Buron F, Thaunat O, Demuylder-Mischler S et al. Pancreas Retransplantation: A Second Chance for Diabetic Patients? Transplantation 2013; 95(2):347-52.
  15. Girman P, Lipar K, Koznarova R et al. Similar early complication rate in simultaneous pancreas and kidney recipients on tacrolimus/mycophenolate mofetil versus tacrolimus/sirolimus immunosuppressive regimens. Transplant Proc 2010; 42(6):1999-2002.
  16. Kaufman DB, Iii GW, Bruce DS et al. Prospective, randomized, multi-center trial of antibody induction therapy in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation. Am J Transplant 2003; 3(7):855-64.
  17. Knight RJ, Kerman RH, Zela S et al. Thymoglobulin, sirolimus, and reduced-dose cyclosporine provides excellent rejection prophylaxis for pancreas transplantation. Transplantation 2003; 75(8):1301-6.
  18. Reddy KS, Stablein D, Taranto S et al. Long-term survival following simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplantation versus kidney transplantation alone in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and renal failure. Am J Kidney Dis 2003; 41(2):464-70.
  19. Stratta RJ, Alloway RR, Lo A et al. Two-dose daclizumab regimen in simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant recipients: primary endpoint analysis of a multicenter, randomized study. Transplantation 2003; 75(8):1260-6.
  20. Cantarovich D, Vistoli F. Minimization protocols in pancreas transplantation. Transpl Int 2009; 22(1):61-8.
  21. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Identification of Transmissible Diseases in Organ Recipients. Available online at: Last accessed January, 2013.
  22. Bhagani S, Sweny P, Brook G. Guidelines for kidney transplantation in patients with HIV disease. HIV Med 2006; 7(3):133-9.
  23. Afaneh C, Rich BS, Aull MJ et al. Pancreas transplantation: does age increase morbidity? J Transplant 2011; 2011:596801.
  24. Schenker P, Vonend O, Kruger B et al. Long-term results of pancreas transplantation in patients older than 50 years. Transplant Int 2011; 24(2):136-42.
  25. Gruessner AC, Sutherland DE. Access to pancreas transplantation should not be restricted because of age. Transplant Int 2011; 24(2):134-35.
  26. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Policies and Bylaws: Allocation of Deceased Kidneys. Available online at: . Last accessed January, 2013.
  27. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health. Pancreas Transplantation to Restore Glucose Control: Review of Clinical and Economic Evidence. 2007. Available online at: Last accessed January, 2013.
  28. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare approved pancreas and kidney/pancreas transplant centers. Available online at: . Last accessed January, 2013.
  29. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). National Coverage Determination (NCD) for pancreas Transplants (260.3). Effective 4/26/2006. Available online at: Last accessed January, 2013.




CPT  48550  Donor pancreatectomy (including cold preservation), with or without duodenal segment for transplantation 
  48551  Backbench standard preservation of cadaver donor pancreas allograft prior to transplantation, including dissection of allograft from surrounding tissues, splenectomy, duodenotomy, ligation of bile duct, ligation of mesenteric vessels, and Y-graft arterial anastomoses from iliac artery to superior mesenteric artery and to splenic artery 
  48552  Backbench reconstruction of cadaver donor pancreas allograft prior to transplantation, venous anastomosis, each 
  48554  Transplantation of pancreatic allograft 
ICD-Procedure  52.80  Pancreatic transplant, not otherwise specified 
  52.81  Reimplantation of pancreatic tissue 
  52.82  Homotransplant of pancreas 
  52.83  Heterotransplant of pancreas 
ICD-9 Diagnosis  250.11, 250.13, 250.21, 250.23, 250.31 and 250.33 Codes for type 1 diabetes mellitus with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolarity or other coma
  250.41 and 250.43 Codes for type 1 diabetes mellitus with renal complications
  250.81 and 250.83 Codes for type 1 diabetes mellitus with other specified manifestations
  250.91 and 250.93 Codes for type 1 diabetes mellitus with unspecified complication
  996.86 Complication of transplanted organ; pancreas
HCPCS  S2065  Simultaneous pancreas kidney transplantation 
ICD-10-CM (effective 10/1/14) E10.10-E10.11 Type I diabetes mellitus with ketoacidosis, code range
   E10.21-E10.29 Type I diabetes mellitus with kidney complications, code range
   E10.641-E10.649 Type I diabetes mellitus with hypoglycemia, code range
   E10.69 Type I diabetes mellitus other specified complications
   E10.8 Type I diabetes mellitus with unspecified complications
   T86.890-T86.899 Complications of other transplanted tissue, code range
   Z90.5 Acquired absence of kidney
ICD-10-PCS (effective 10/1/14) 0FYG0Z0, 0FYG0Z1 Surgical, hepatobiliary system & pancreas, transplantation, open, code by qualifier (allogeneic or syngeneic)
  0FSG0ZZ, 0FSG4ZZ Surgical, hepatobiliary system & pancreas, reposition, code by approach (open or percutaneous endoscopic)
Type of Service  Surgery 
Place of Service  Inpatient 


Pancreas After Kidney Transplant
Pancreas/Kidney Transplant
Pancreas Retransplantation
Pancreas Transplant Alone
Transplant, Pancreas
Transplant, Pancreas/Kidney

Policy History

Date Action Reason
12/01/96 Add to Surgery section New policy
04/01/98 Replace policy Policy updated; new indications
02/15/02 Replace policy Policy updated and revised based on 2002 TEC Assessment; policy statement revised to indicate that a single pancreas retransplantation may be medically necessary
10/9/03 Replace policy Policy updated; no change to policy statement
02/25/04 Replace policy Policy revised; policy statement revised to indicate that transplant in HIV+ patients is investigational (previously only addressed in Policy Guidelines)
03/15/05 Replace policy Policy updated with literature search; no change in policy statement. Reference number 4 added
04/1/05 Replace policy Policy revised; HIV+ deleted as an investigational indication for transplant; additional information provided in Rationale section
9/27/05 Replace policy Policy corrected; HIV positivity statement removed from policy section and CPT coding updated
03/7/06 Replace policy Policy updated with literature search; no change in policy statement 
02/14/08 Replace policy  Policy updated with literature search; references 9 and 10 added; policy statement regarding “2 or more prior failed pancreas transplants” was removed; no other change in policy statements.
04/24/09 Replace policy  Policy updated with literature search; reference number 11 added; no change in policy statement
2/10/11 Replace policy Policy updated with literature review; rationale section rewritten; not medically necessary indications regarding malignancy, infection and terminal conditions added to policy statement; relative contraindications clarified in guidelines; reference numbers 1, 2, 5-7, 9 – 13, 18 – 21 and 24 added, reference 22 updated.
02/09/12 Replace policy Policy updated with literature review. “Not medically necessary” statement removed. Contraindications combined (absolute and relative) and moved to Policy Guidelines section. Wording of contraindications changed to be consistent with other solid organ transplant policies. Note on proportion of pancreas transplant recipients with type 2 diabetes added to Policy Guidelines. Reference numbers 3, 9, 12, 21-23 added; other references renumbered or removed.
06/14/12 Replace policy-correction only In Policy Guidelines, corrected 4th potential contraindication to read: kidney or pancreatic disease
2/14/13 Replace policy Policy updated with literature review. No change to policy statements. References 7, 14 and 21 added; other references renumbered or removed.