Autologous islet cell transplantation to prevent surgical diabetes

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Autologous islet transplantation (AIT) is performed to prevent surgical diabetes after total or semi-total pancreatectomy for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis with severe abdominal pain. In addition, AIT is used in cases of benign pancreatic tumors and pancreatic trauma. It has been shown that AIT results in better outcomes in terms of glycemic control compared with allogeneic islet transplantation. The reasons for the favorable outcomes of AIT are thought to be: (i) patients have no autoimmune diseases; (ii) the transplanted islets do not suffer allogeneic rejection; (iii) diabetogenic antirejection drugs are not required; (iv) pancreata do not undergo a cytokine storm as a result of periods of brain death; (v) the period of cold preservation of retrieved pancreata is short; (vi) the isolated islets are immediately transplanted without culture; and (vii) pancreata with pancreatitis may contain more progenitor cells. Further research into AIT would help improve the results of allogeneic islet transplantation. Conversely, the technical difficulties associated with islet isolation appear to be the largest hurdle for AIT; therefore, remote center islet isolation may prove to be key in the promotion of this treatment.

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