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Transplantation. 2011 Feb 15;91(3):360-6.

Influence of donor age on islet isolation and transplantation outcome.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Cell Isolation and Transplantation Center, Geneva, Switzerland.



It has been suggested that the age of human organ donors might influence islet isolation and transplantation outcome in a negative way due to a decrease of in vivo function in islets isolated from older donors.


We retrospectively analyzed 332 islet isolations according to donor age. We determined isolation outcome by islet yields, transplantation rates, and [beta]-cell function in vitro. Transplanted patients were divided into two groups depending on donor age (n=25 and n=31 patients for <=45- and >45-year-old donors, respectively). We assessed islet graft function by C-peptide/glucose ratio, [beta] score, secretory units of islets in transplantation index, and insulin independence rate at 1, 6, and 12 months after transplantation.


There was no difference in islet yields between the two groups (251,900+/-14,100 and 244,600+/-8400 islet equivalent for <=45- and >45-year-old donors, respectively). Transplantation rates and stimulation indices were similar in both groups as well. All islet graft function parameters were significantly higher at 1-month follow-up in patients who had received islets from younger donors. At 6-month follow-up after second or third injection and at 12-month follow-up, secretory units of islets in transplantation indices and C-peptide/glucose ratios were significantly higher in patients with donors aged 45 years or younger.


These data suggest that, despite similar outcomes of the isolation procedure, islet graft function is significantly influenced by donor age. These results may have important consequences in the definition of pancreas allocation criteria.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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