Pancreatic Islet Transplantation in Humans: Recent Progress and Future Directions

Endocrine Reviews
Michael R Rickels, R Paul Robertson

Abstract

Pancreatic islet transplantation has become an established approach to β-cell replacement therapy for the treatment of insulin-deficient diabetes. Recent progress in techniques for islet isolation, islet culture, and peritransplant management of the islet transplant recipient has resulted in substantial improvements in metabolic and safety outcomes for patients. For patients requiring total or subtotal pancreatectomy for benign disease of the pancreas, isolation of islets from the diseased pancreas with intrahepatic transplantation of autologous islets can prevent or ameliorate postsurgical diabetes, and for patients previously experiencing painful recurrent acute or chronic pancreatitis, quality of life is substantially improved. For patients with type 1 diabetes or insulin-deficient forms of pancreatogenic (type 3c) diabetes, isolation of islets from a deceased donor pancreas with intrahepatic transplantation of allogeneic islets can ameliorate problematic hypoglycemia, stabilize glycemic lability, and maintain on-target glycemic control, consequently with improved quality of life, and often without the requirement for insulin therapy. Because the metabolic benefits are dependent on the numbers of islets transplanted that sur...Continue Reading

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