Clinical islet transplantation: a review

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Jun 18;875:189-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb08503.x.


For decades, the inability of insulin therapy to physiologically control glycemia in type I diabetic patients has motivated the search for insulin-delivering grafts. Islet autotransplantation is such a therapeutic approach to prevent diabetes mellitus following a major pancreatectomy, whereas allotransplantation is generally prescribed for type I diabetic patients with a functional solid organ graft, or for patients awaiting one. As of today, over 150 patients have been autotransplanted world-wide, following total or subtotal pancreatectomy, permitting an insulin-independence in nearly 40% of patients. Furthermore, more than 350 islet allotransplantations have been performed. Recent results show improved metabolic control in over 50% of cases and insulin-independence in approximately 20%. This chapter presents a literature review including preliminary human islet transplantation data from the University of Geneva.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplantation, Homologous