Islets Isolated From Donors With Elevated HbA1c Can Be Successfully Transplanted

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Clinical islet transplantation is limited by the availability of donor organs. We report two cases where islets were isolated from donors with elevated HbA1c (6.3% and 7.9%). Islet isolation yield was adequate in both cases (521,350 and 497,472 islet equivalents, respectively). Islet graft analyses revealed a decreased proportion of β cells (21.6%) and an increase in α cells (51.0%) in the donor with the higher HbA1c, although graft characteristics of the other donor were similar to donors with normal HbA1c. Both islet preparations were transplanted into type 1 diabetes recipients with brittle diabetes. One recipient has remained insulin independent for 4 years to date with good glycemic control. The other recipient who received islets from the donor with the higher HbA1c had a 56% reduction in insulin requirement after transplant. Pancreases from donors with mild hyperglycemia may be a source of islets that could be considered for clinical islet transplantation.

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