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Effect of the Embolization of Completely Unpurified Islets on Portal Vein Pressure and Hepatic Biochemistry in Clinical Practice

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Here we report on the impact of completely unpurified islet transplantation on the portal vein pressure (PVP) and the hepatic biochemistry in the peritransplant period and on follow-up. Type I diabetic patients underwent simultaneous kidney and islet transplantation. Islets were not purified from the acinar tissue to prevent loss of endocrine mass. Each patient received a mean 521,846 ± 201,539.4 islet equivalents (7812.1 islet equivalents/kg/recipient). Immunosuppression and peritransplant medication were given according to the Giessen protocol. The islets were injected into the left hepatic lobe through the umbilical vein. PVP was recorded at time 0 and every 5 min throughout cell infusion. Liver function was assessed daily for the first 10 days, and on follow-up. Basal, peak, and final PVP were 12 ± 3.8, 25.1 ± 7.9, and 19.5 ± 6.2 mmHg, respectively (basal vs. final, p < 0.05). Bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, prothrombin time, and APTT stayed within normal range. Peak aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and serum amylase were 109.4 ± 61.2 IU/L (basal vs. peak, not significant), 79.5 ± 56.9 IU/L (basal vs. peak, not significant), and 887.5 ± 153.6 IU/L (basal vs. peak, p = 0.02), respectively. In all cases AST, ALT, and amylase normalized within 6 days posttransplant and remained so on follow-up (longest control, 33 months posttransplant). Although the intrahepatic infusion of unpurified pancreatic islets affects both the portal vein pressure and the hepatic biochemical profile, this effect is transient and does not compromise the safety of the procedure.
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Keywords: Hepatic biochemistry; Human islet transplantation; Intraportal islet injection; Portal vein pressure; Unpurified islets

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Program, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Gascon 450, Buenos Aires (1181), Argentina

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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