Background: Human pancreas preservation for islet transplantation holds additional challenges and considerations compared with whole pancreas transplantation. The purpose of this study was to clarify the limitations of the University of Wisconsin (UW) solution and the potentials of the two-layer method (TLM) for pancreas preservation before human islet isolation.
Methods: We retrospectively evaluated human islet isolation records between January 2001 and February 2003. One hundred forty-two human pancreata were procured from cadaveric donors and preserved by means of the UW solution (n=112) or TLM (n=30). Human islet isolations were performed using a standard protocol and assessed by islet recovery and in vitro function of islets.
Results: Eight to ten hours of cold ischemia in the UW solution is a critical point for successful islet isolations. It is difficult to recover a sufficient number of viable islets for transplantation from human pancreata with more than 10 hours of cold storage in the UW solution. The overall islet recovery in the TLM group was significantly higher than in the UW group. With 10 to 16 hours of cold storage, the success rates of islet isolations remained at 62% in the TLM group but decreased to 22% in the UW group. Transplanted islets in the TLM group worked well in the recipients.
Conclusions: There are time limitations for using the UW solution for pancreas preservation before human islet isolation. The TLM is a potential method to prolong the optimal cold storage time for successful islet isolations.