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Endocr Dev. 2016;31:146-62. doi: 10.1159/000439412. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Beta-Cell Replacement: Pancreas and Islet Cell Transplantation.

Abstract

Pancreas and islet transplantation are 2 types of beta-cell replacement therapies for type 1 diabetes mellitus. Since 1966, when pancreas transplantation was first performed, it has evolved to become a highly efficient procedure with high success rates, thanks to advances in surgical technique and immunosuppression. Pancreas transplantation is mostly performed as simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation in patients with end-stage nephropathy secondary to diabetes. In spite of its efficiency, pancreas transplantation is still a major surgical procedure burdened by high morbidity, which called for the development of less invasive and hazardous ways of replacing beta-cell function in the past. Islet transplantation was developed in the 1970s as a minimally invasive procedure with initially poor outcomes. However, since the report of the 'Edmonton protocol' in 2000, the functional results of islet transplantation have substantially and constantly improved and are about to match those of whole pancreas transplantation. Islet transplantation is primarily performed alone in nonuremic patients with severe hypoglycemia. Both pancreas transplantation and islet transplantation are able to abolish hypoglycemia and to prevent or slow down the development of secondary complications of diabetes. Pancreas transplantation and islet transplantation should be seen as two complementary, rather than competing, therapeutic approaches for beta-cell replacement that are able to optimize organ donor use and patient care.

PMID:
26824893
DOI:
10.1159/000439412
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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