Chronic pancreatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis--first report of intrahepatic autologous islet transplantation

J Gastrointest Surg. 2014 Apr;18(4):845-50. doi: 10.1007/s11605-013-2414-z. Epub 2013 Dec 3.


Background: We are reporting first successful intrahepatic autologous islet transplantation after total pancreatectomy in a patient with chronic pancreatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Methods: Total pancreatectomy and subsequent islet autotransplantation were performed in a 16-year-old boy with intractable pain due to chronic pancreatitis in the setting of ulcerative colitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Liver biopsy revealed PSC with focal bridging fibrosis. The pancreas was surgically removed and digested, and islets were isolated, highly purified, and infused intraportally.

Results: Over 18-month follow-up, the patient did not show progression of chronic liver disease or signs of portal hypertension. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography revealed no new changes, and liver biopsy did not show progression of the periportal fibrosis. Pain medication was weaned over 12 months at which time glycemic control was excellent without exogenous insulin supplementation. HbgA1c was 5.9. Fifteen months after the procedure, stimulation with a mixed meal led to a fourfold increase of serum C-peptide and an eightfold increase of insulin level.

Conclusion: Pancreatic autologous islets can be successfully transplanted into a liver affected by PSC without compromising hepatic or graft function. Durability of the procedure may be limited in the future by the natural course of the liver injury caused by PSC.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / blood
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / complications
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / surgery*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / blood
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / surgery*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin
  • C-Reactive Protein