Safety and Clinical Outcomes of Using Low-Molecular-Weight Dextran during Islet Autotransplantation in Children

Hawa M. Ali, Melena D. Bellin, Alexander A. Boucher, Elise F. Northup, Ellen R. Florek, Josh Wilhelm, Elissa M. Downs, Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg, Srinath Chinnakotla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate potential safety and clinical benefit of low-molecular-weight dextran (dextran) use in patients undergoing total pancreatectomy with islet auto transplantation (TPIAT).

METHODS: We evaluated 124 children undergoing TPIAT at a single institution, either with (n = 72) or without (n = 52) perioperative dextran infusion. Data on islet graft function and postoperative complications were collected through electronic medical records and patient-reported outcomes from research questionnaires.

RESULTS: Islet graft failure was less likely at 1 year (odds ratio, 0.186; 95% confidence interval, 0.04-0.65) and 2 years (odds ratio, 0.063; 95% confidence interval, 0.003-0.35) post-TPIAT in the dextran group. This finding remained significant at 2 years in multivariate logistic regression modeling adjusting for islet mass, body surface area, and sex. Likewise, in multivariate regression, the odds of partial islet graft function were higher at 1 and 2 years in the dextran group. Dextran use was overall safe, although it did lead to a higher incidence of postoperative bleeding requiring blood transfusions (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that dextran use may increase the likelihood for sustained post-TPIAT islet graft function, potentially mitigating severity of postoperative diabetes for these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-780
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • dextran
  • pediatric
  • transplant

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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