Pancreatitis is seldom seen as a severe complication of renal transplantation. In a review on 1321 renal transplants, 23 cases with 12 deaths are reported (Johnson and Nabseth, 1970). Single case reports may be added. In our departments pancreatitis has proved to be a fairly frequent complication. It developed in 10 (7 percent) of 147 patients with renal transplantation one week to seven and a half years after transplantation (patients with primary hyperparathyroidism excluded). Three of the eight acute cases had haemorrhagic pancreatitis, in two of them leading to death. Two patients had chronic calcifying pancreatitis. Pancreatitis was complicated in one case by abscess formation and in two by severe haemorrhage into a pseudo-cyst. In two patients the diagnosis was made at necropsy only and death was probably not related to the acute pancreatitis. The exact pathogenesis of pancreatitis after renal transplantation cannot be precisely assessed. Possible contributing factors are treatment with corticosteroids, azathioprin, and L-asparaginase, early hypercalcaemia after transplantation, surgery, infections of bacterial or viral origin, and unknown immunological processes.
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