Proposed thresholds for pancreatic tissue volume for safe intraportal islet autotransplantation after total pancreatectomy

J. J. Wilhelm, M. D. Bellin, T. B. Dunn, A. N. Balamurugan, T. L. Pruett, D. M. Radosevich, S. Chinnakotla, S. J. Schwarzenberg, M. L. Freeman, B. J. Hering, D. E R Sutherland, G. J. Beilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The simple question of how much tissue volume (TV) is really safe to infuse in total pancreatectomy-islet autotransplantation (TP-IAT) for chronic pancreatitis (CP) precipitated this analysis. We examined a large cohort of CP patients (n = 233) to determine major risk factors for elevated portal pressure (PP) during islet infusion, using bivariate and multivariate regression modeling. Rates of bleeding requiring operative intervention and portal venous thrombosis (PVT) were evaluated. The total TV per kilogram body weight infused intraportally was the best independent predictor of change in PP (ΔPP) (p < 0.0001; R2 = 0.566). Rates of bleeding and PVT were 7.73% and 3.43%, respectively. Both TV/kg and ΔPP are associated with increased complication rates, although ΔPP appears to be more directly relevant. Receiver operating characteristic analysis identified an increased risk of PVT above a suggested cut-point of 26 cmH2O (area under the curve = 0.759), which was also dependent on age. This ΔPP threshold was more likely to be exceeded in cases where the total TV was >0.25 cm 3/kg. Based on this analysis, we have recommended targeting a TV of <0.25 cm3/kg during islet manufacturing and to halt intraportal infusion, at least temporarily, if the ΔPP exceeds 25 cmH2O. These models can be used to guide islet manufacturing and clinical decision making to minimize risks in TP-IAT recipients. This study describes an analysis of major risk factors that influence complications due to islet autotransplantation following total pancreatectomy and recommends thresholds for tissue volume infusion and changes in portal pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3183-3191
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Bleeding
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Intraportal infusion
  • Islet autotransplantation
  • Portal hypertension
  • Portal vein thrombosis
  • Postoperative complications

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