Background. Histologic evaluation of a failing pancreatic allograft is necessary for accurate classification of graft dysfunction. Unlike percutaneous or transcystoscopic techniques, laparoscopic biopsy allows visualization of the allograft in addition to obtaining tissue for histologic examination. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed all laparoscopic pancreas transplant biopsies performed over a 15-month period ending February 2002. Results. There were 12 laparoscopic pancreas biopsies performed in 11 patients between 6 weeks and 8 years (mean 2.5±2.8 years) after transplant. Indications for biopsy were hyperglycemia (n=8), hyperamylasemia (n=3), and graft tenderness (n=1). Adequate tissue was obtained in 11 of 12 biopsies. Two patients received definitive treatment at the time of laparoscopy (pseudocyst debridement, ovarian cyst excision). Conclusions. Laparoscopic pancreas transplant biopsy allows safe visualization of the allograft and effective specimen retrieval, and in some cases provides the opportunity for therapeutic intervention.
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