Transcontinental shipping of pancreatic islets for autotransplantation after total pancreatectomy

John M. Rabkin, John P. Leone, David E.R. Sutherland, Andrew Ahman, Matt Reed, Basil E. Papalois, David C. Wahoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Islet autotransplantation prevents diabetes in some patients after total pancreatectomy. Pancreatectomy is done at most hospitals but islets are prepared at only a few centers. We report a case in which the pancreas was sent to a laboratory half a continent distant from the operative site, and islets were prepared and returned to the original hospital for autotransplantation 16 h after resection. At 10 months posttransplantation, the patient is normoglycemic and insulin independent, with an appropriate insulin secretion in response to glucose. Endocrine function can be retained after pancreatectomy even if the islets are isolated at a remote laboratory, and autotransplantation could be offered to patients without the need to travel. This outcome implies that the typical handling and processing of a pancreas destined to yield an islet allograft should not prevent the recovery of a sufficient number of viable β cells to establish insulin independence in type 1 diabetic recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-419
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1997


  • Autotransplantation
  • Human pancreatic islets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology


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