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Open Access Remote Processing of Pancreas Can Restore Normal Glucose Homeostasis in Autologous Islet Transplantation After Traumatic Whipple Pancreatectomy: Technical Considerations

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An emergency autologous islet transplant after a traumatic Whipple operation and subsequent total pancreatectomy was performed for a 21-year-old patient who was wounded with multiple abdominal gunshot wounds. After Whipple pancreatectomy, the remnant pancreas (63.5 g), along with other damaged organs, was removed by the surgeons at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) and shipped to Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) for islet isolation. The pancreas was preserved in UW solution for 9.25 h prior to islet isolation. Upon arrival, the organ was visually inspected; the pancreatic head was missing, the rest of the pancreas was damaged and full of blood; the tail looked normal. A 16-gauge catheter was inserted into the main duct and directed towards tail of the pancreas after the dissection of main duct in the midbody of the pancreas. The pancreas was distended with collagenase solution (Roche MTF) through the catheter. During 10 min of intraductal delivery of enzyme, the gland was distended uniformly. No leakage of the solution was observed. The pancreas was transferred to a Ricordi chamber for automated mechanical and enzymatic digestion. Islets were purified using a COBE 2991 cell processor. Islet equivalents (IEQ; 221,250) of 40% purity and 90% viability were recovered during the isolation, which were shipped back to WRAMC and infused by intraportal injection into the patient. Immediate islet function was demonstrated by the rapid elevation of serum C peptide followed by insulin independence with near normal oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) 1 and 2 months later. It is possible to restore near normal glucose tolerance with autologous islet transplantation after total pancreatectomy even with suboptimal number of islets while confirming that islets processed at a remote site are suitable for transplantation.

Keywords: Autologous pancreatic islet cell transplant; Traumatic Whipple operation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA 2: Organ Transplant Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA 3: Department of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA 4: Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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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.
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