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Diabetes. 1989 Jan;38 Suppl 1:85-7.

Recurrence of disease in pancreas transplants.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


In a series of 200 pancreas transplants with 6 mo to less than 9 yr of follow-up, recurrence of disease was identified as the cause of graft failure in 8 cases, all in non- or minimally immunosuppressed recipients of transplants from identical twin (n = 3) or HLA-identical sibling (n = 5) donors. Recurrence of disease was defined as selective loss of beta-cells; other endocrine cell types persisted and appeared normal within the islets of the graft. Isletitis was present in islets with residual beta-cells during the evolution of the process in all nonimmunosuppressed and in some immunosuppressed recipients, but isletitis resolved in all cases in which beta-cell destruction was complete and also resolved in some cases in which residual beta-cells were retained after the introduction of or an increase in immunosuppression. Recurrence of disease can be prevented by immunosuppression, and 2 recipients of identical twin grafts and 12 recipients of grafts from HLA-identical siblings had functioning grafts as of March 1988, the longest greater than 7 yr. The process has not been observed in patients in whom full-dose immunosuppression has been used, including HLA-identical siblings, and this may be the reason no cases of recurrence of disease have been identified in recipients of cadaveric grafts. Alternatively, the observations are consistent with, but not proof of, the hypothesis that recurrence of disease (autoimmune isletitis leading to diabetes) is a major histocompatibility complex-restricted phenomenon.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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