Islet Transplantation Safe, Efficient in Type 1 Diabetes

(HealthDay News) — Islet transplantation seems safe and efficient for restoring glycemic control in type 1 diabetes, according to research published in Diabetes Care.

Sandrine Lablanche, MD, from Grenoble University Hospital in France, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis to describe 5-year outcomes for subjects enrolled in the GRAGIL-1c and GRAGIL-2 islet transplantation trials.

Between September 2003 and April 2010, 44 patients received islet transplantation (24 islet transplantation alone [ITA] and 20 islet after kidney [IAK] transplantation).

The researchers found that 34 and 10 patients completed 5-year and 4-year follow-up, respectively. At 1, 4 and 5 years post-transplantation, 83% 67% and 58% of ITA recipients and 80%, 70% and 60% of IAK transplant recipients, respectively, achieved a HbA1c level below 7% and were free from severe hypoglycemia. 

At the preinfusion stage, none of the ITA recipients and 10% of the IAK transplant recipients met this composite criterion. 

During the entire follow-up period, 75% of participants experienced insulin independence, with a median duration of insulin independence of 19.25 months. 

At least one adverse event was exhibited by 66% of recipients; 33% of events were possibly related to immunosuppression.

“Islet transplantation was safe and efficient in restoring good and lasting glycemic control, and to prevent severe hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Lablanche S et al. Diabetes Care. 2015;doi:10.2337/dc15-0094.