Combined pancreatic islets-lung transplantation in cystic fibrosis-related diabetes: case reports

Transplant Proc. 2010 Dec;42(10):4338-40. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.09.121.


We report two cases of percutaneous portal embolization of pancreatic islets performed after double lung transplantation in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients using the pancreas of the same donor. CASE 1: A 19-year-old man with CF had insulin-dependent diabetes, which was poorly controlled despite an external insulin pump (96 IU/d): HbA(1c) = 9.8% and 1 to 3 hypoglycemic events per day. On October 29, 2007, he received a double lung graft because of chronic respiratory failure. For days after lung transplantation, 149,000 cultured IEQ (Islet EQuivalent) were injected by percutaneous intraportal infusion under local anesthesia. Immunosuppression consisted of steroids, cyclosporine, and azathioprine. Two years later, the forced expiratory volume (FEV) was 83%; C peptide level reached 1.4 μg/L, and the diabetes was satisfactorily controlled with an HbA(1c) of 7.5% and a decrease in insulin requirements to 30 U/d in the absence of hypoglycemic events. CASE 2: On July 10, 2006, a 32-year-old man with CF-related diabetes received a double lung graft because of chronic respiratory failure. Under multiple insulin injections, the HbA(1c) was 9.6% with numerous hypoglycemic events. On March 11, 2008, he again received a double lung graft because of persistent humoral rejection. Despite severe bleeding during the postoperative course, 234,000 IEQ were injected via the portal vein one week after lung transplantation. Immunosuppression consisted of steroids, tacrolimus, and mycophenolate mofetil. Eighteen months after the combined graft, the FEV was 52%; the plasma C-peptide reached 0.79 μg/L, the HbA(1c), 6% and the insulin requirements decreased to 55 U/d in the absence of hypoglycemic events.

Conclusion: Combined lung-islet transplantation for patients with CF-related diabetes improved pulmonary and metabolic function.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / surgery*
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male


  • Immunosuppressive Agents