Pediatric Autologous Islet Transplantation

Melena D Bellin, Sarah J Schwarzenberg, Marie Cook, David E.R. Sutherland, Srinath Chinnakotla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplant (TPIAT) offers substantial pain relief and improved quality of life for children who are severely affected by chronic or recurrent acute pancreatitis and for whom the usual medical and endoscopic therapies have failed. The pancreas is entirely resected, and the pancreatic islets are isolated from the pancreas and infused back into the patient’s liver. Because this is an autologous transplant, no immunosuppression is required. Over several months, the islets engraft in the liver; the patient is then slowly weaned off insulin therapy. Slightly more than 40 % of patients become and remain insulin independent, yet even among patients who remain on insulin, most have some islet function, permitting easier diabetes control. The majority of patients experience pain relief, with significant improvements in health-related quality of life. A TPIAT should be considered for children who are significantly disabled by chronic pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number67
JournalCurrent diabetes reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 17 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sarah J. Schwarzenberg, Marie Cook, David Sutherland, and Srinath Chinnakotla declare that they have no conflict of interest. Melena Bellin receives grant support from Dompe, Medtronic, and Merck.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Islet autotransplant
  • Pancreatitis
  • Total pancreatectomy


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