Patient and Procedural Factors Associated With Increased Islet Cell Yield in Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation

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Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) offers symptom relief to highly selected patients with recurrent acute and/or chronic pancreatitis. However, with variable clinical response, it is important to refine islet manipulation technique and patient selection criteria. This study explores the variables associated with high islet cell yield, a driver of success in TPIAT.


This study evaluated patients who underwent TPIAT at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center from 2012 to 2016. Odds ratios were calculated for various patient and procedural characteristics. The primary clinical outcome was the number of isolated islet equivalents per kilogram body weight.


Thirty-eight patients met inclusion criteria. Patients with no computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging evidence of chronic pancreatitis, without pancreatic duct stones, and without parenchymal stones were associated with higher odds of success (P = 0.02, P = 0.02, and P = 0.002, respectively). Patients with preoperative glycated hemoglobin greater than 5.6, with islet cell suspensions positive for cultures, and with positive gram stains were associated with lower odds of success (P = 0.02, P = 0.01, and P = 0.02, respectively).


Factors that diminish a successful islet cell harvest during TPIAT include the presence of infected islets, an elevated preoperative glycated hemoglobin, and the presence of pancreatic duct stones.

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