Metabolic studies following intrahepatic autotransplantation of pancreatic islet grafts

John L. Cameron, Denis G. Mehigan, Donald P. Harrington, George D. Zuidema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A patient with chronic pancreatitis underwent 95% pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation. The pancreatic tissue was prepared by mincing and collagenase digestion, and then embolized into the liver via the portal vein. The patient has been followed with metabolic studies for 1 year. Fasting normoglycemia returned 3 weeks following operation. Intravenous glucose tolerance tests revealed K values that were similar before operation (1.06), and 3 weeks (0.96) and 4 months (1.09) after operation. Four months after islet transplantation, peripheral, portal, and hepatic vein insulin levels were determined simultaneously following an infusion of glucose (0.25 gm/kg) into the portal vein. During a 10-mimute interval, right hepatic vein insulin increased fourfold, left hepatic vein insulin increased twofold, and peripheral vein insulin doubled. During this time portal vein insulin remained constant. In addition, significant levels of pancreatic glucagon were present in both hepatic veins, but were undetectable in the portal vein. At 6 months the patient became hyperglycemic and subsequently has required insulin therapy. Restudy at 10 months following islet transplantation revealed a marked drop in K value (0.34), and no evidence of graft function in the liver. These studies represent convincing evidence of transplanted intrahepatic islet cell function for a 6-month period following operation. The grafts for unknown reasons ceased to function at 6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-400
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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