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Cell Transplant. 2014;23(10):1221-7. doi: 10.3727/096368913X668663. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Liver fat accumulation after islet transplantation and graft survival.

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Diabetes Research Institute, Miami, FL, USA.


Our objective is to evaluate if there is an association between liver fat accumulation after islet transplantation (ITx) and graft survival. A cohort study was conducted in 34 subjects with type 1 diabetes postallogeneic ITx. Liver fat content was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (change in liver signal intensity on in-phase and opposed-phase images). Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression analysis were performed with islet dysfunction duration as the dependent variable and fat liver content as an independent one. Values of p < 0.05 were significant (SSPS(®)18.0 and MedCalc(®)12.5). Patients' mean age was 40 ± 8 years (diabetes duration: 31 ± 12 years; male: 41%). Islet survival did not differ in patients without (51 months, 95% CI 40-62 months) or with steatosis (48 months, 95% CI 38-58 months; p = 0.55) during islet dysfunction period. Nevertheless, survival curves appear to separate late in the follow-up, and after 40 months steatosis was associated with shorter graft survival (p log rank = 0.049). This association remained (RR 23.5, 95% CI 1.1-516.0; p = 0.045) after adjustments for possible confounding factors. In this sample of subjects with type 1 diabetes submitted to ITx, steatosis was not associated with islet failure in the whole cohort. However, in subjects with functional islets after 40 months, a shorter graft survival was observed in those with steatosis during the islet dysfunction period, even after adjustments to variables known to be associated with islet failure.

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