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Ludwig, B.* ; Reichel, A.* ; Kruppa, A.* ; Ludwig, S.* ; Steffen, A.* ; Weitz, J.* ; Bornstein, S.R.*

Islet transplantation at the Dresden diabetes center: five years' experience.

Horm. Metab. Res. 47, 4-8 (2015)
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For the majority of patients with type 1 diabetes intensive insulin therapy is effective and safe for maintaining glycemia and minimizing diabetes-associated complications. However, a rare number of patients show highly labile metabolic control and experience repeated and unpredictable hypoglycemic episodes. Such condition is often caused by defective counterregulatory mechanisms and autonomous neuropathy. Patients are at high risk for severe acute and chronic complications, and quality of life is considerably impaired. For this small subset of patients, restoration of endogenous insulin secretion can substantially improve metabolic control and quality of life. In our experience, this is irrespective of insulin independency. Here, we report on our 5 years' experience with implementing islet transplantation as a potential treatment option for type 1 diabetes. All patients were treated by long-term insulin pump therapy prior to enrolment. The main indication was severely unstable diabetes and repeated hypoglycemia. From 2008 to 2013, 10 patients have been transplanted with single islet infusion; mean follow-up time was 35 months. All patients show persistent graft function, stable glycemic control with a reduction in HbA1c in the absence of hypoglycemia. All patients are kept on minimal exogenous insulin. In conclusion, islet transplantation can be an excellent therapy for selected patients. Key prerequisite for success is a strict indication. The primary goal for islet transplantation should be stabile glycemia and prevention of hypoglycemia rather than insulin independence. In fact, maintaining minimal exogenous insulin may protect the islet graft from metabolic stress and even prolong islet graft function.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0018-5043
e-ISSN 1439-4286
Quellenangaben Volume: 47, Issue: 1, Pages: 4-8 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Thieme
Reviewing status Peer reviewed
Institute(s) Institute for Pancreatic Beta Cell Research (IPI)