Magnetic resonance imaging: A tool to monitor and optimize enzyme distribution during porcine pancreas distention for islet isolation

William E. Scott, Bradley P. Weegman, Appakalai N. Balamurugan, Joana Ferrer-Fabrega, Takayuki Anazawa, Theodore Karatzas, Tun Jie, Bruce E. Hammer, Shuchiro Matsumoto, Efstathios S. Avgoustiniatos, Kristen S. Maynard, David E R Sutherland, Bernhard J. Hering, Klearchos K. Papas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Porcine islet xenotransplantation is emerging as a potential alternative for allogeneic clinical islet transplantation. Optimization of porcine islet isolation in terms of yield and quality is critical for the success and cost-effectiveness of this approach. Incomplete pancreas distention and inhomogeneous enzyme distribution have been identified as key factors for limiting viable islet yield per porcine pancreas. The aim of this study was to explore the utility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a tool to investigate the homogeneity of enzyme delivery in porcine pancreata. Traditional and novel methods for enzyme delivery aimed at optimizing enzyme distribution were examined. Pancreata were procured from Landrace pigs via en bloc viscerectomy. The main pancreatic duct was then cannulated with an 18-g winged catheter and MRI performed at 1.5-T. Images were collected before and after ductal infusion of chilled MRI contrast agent (gadolinium) in physiological saline. Regions of the distal aspect of the splenic lobe and portions of the connecting lobe and bridge exhibited reduced delivery of solution when traditional methods of distention were utilized. Use of alternative methods of delivery (such as selective re-cannulation and distention of identified problem regions) resolved these issues, and MRI was successfully utilized as a guide and assessment tool for improved delivery. Current methods of porcine pancreas distention do not consistently deliver enzyme uniformly or adequately to all regions of the pancreas. Novel methods of enzyme delivery should be investigated and implemented for improved enzyme distribution. MRI serves as a valuable tool to visualize and evaluate the efficacy of current and prospective methods of pancreas distention and enzyme delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-479
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • diabetes
  • distention
  • ductal anatomy
  • islet isolation
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • pancreas
  • pancreas divisum
  • porcine
  • transplantation
  • xenotransplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic resonance imaging: A tool to monitor and optimize enzyme distribution during porcine pancreas distention for islet isolation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this