Human islet isolation and allotransplantation in 22 consecutive cases

Transplantation. 1992 Feb;53(2):407-14. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199202010-00027.


This report provides our initial experience in islet isolation and intrahepatic allotransplantation in 21 patients. In group 1, 10 patients underwent combined liver-islet allotransplantation following upper-abdominal exenteration for cancer. In group 2, 4 patients received a combined liver-islet allograft for cirrhosis and diabetes. One patients had plasma C-peptide greater than 3 pM and was therefore excluded from analysis. In group 3, 7 patients received 8 combined cadaveric kidney-islet grafts (one retransplant) for end-stage renal disease secondary to type 1 diabetes mellitus. The islets were separated by a modification of the automated method for human islet isolation and the preparation were infused into the portal vein. Immunosuppression was with FK506 (group 1) plus steroids (groups 2 and 3). Six patients in group 1 did not require insulin treatment for 5 to greater than 16 months. In groups 2 and 3 none of the patients became insulin-independent, although decreased insulin requirement and stabilization of diabetes were observed. Our results indicate that rejection is still a major factor limiting the clinical application of islet transplantation in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, although other factors such as steroid treatment may contribute to deteriorate islet engraftment and/or function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / surgery
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / immunology*
  • Islets of Langerhans* / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Preservation
  • Survival Rate
  • Transplantation, Homologous