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Am J Transplant. 2012 May;12(5):1275-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03947.x. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Early metabolic markers that anticipate loss of insulin independence in type 1 diabetic islet allograft recipients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.


The objective of this study was to identify predictors of insulin independence and to establish the best clinical tools to follow patients after pancreatic islet transplantation (PIT). Sequential metabolic responses to intravenous (I.V.) glucose (I.V. glucose tolerance test [IVGTT]), arginine and glucose-potentiated arginine (glucose-potentiated arginine-induced insulin secretion [GPAIS]) were obtained from 30 patients. We determined the correlation between transplanted islet mass and islet engraftment and tested the ability of each assay to predict return to exogenous insulin therapy. We found transplanted islet mass within an average of 16 709 islet equivalents per kg body weight (IEQ/kg BW; range between 6602 and 29 614 IEQ/kg BW) to be a poor predictor of insulin independence at 1 year, having a poor correlation between transplanted islet mass and islet engraftment. Acute insulin response to IVGTT (AIR(GLU) ) and GPAIS (AIR(max) ) were the most accurate methods to determine suboptimal islet mass engraftment. AIR(GLU) performed 3 months after transplant also proved to be a robust early metabolic marker to predict return to insulin therapy and its value was positively correlated with duration of insulin independence. In conclusion, AIR(GLU) is an early metabolic assay capable of anticipating loss of insulin independence at 1 year in T1D patients undergoing PIT and constitutes a valuable, simple and reliable method to follow patients after transplant.

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