Detection of intrahepatic human islets following combined liver-islet allotransplantation

Camillo Ricordi, Andreas Tzakis, Rodolfo Alejandro, Yijun Zeng, Anthony J. Demetris, Patricia Carroll, John J. Fung, Daniel H. Mintz, Thomas E. Starzl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article describes the localization of intact insulin-containing intrahepatic islets after combined liver-islet allotransplantation. The patient was a 36-year-old woman who underwent upper abdominal exenteration for neuroendocrine carcinoma; 289,000 islets were transplanted via portal vein infusion immediately after complete revascularization of the liver. Immunosuppression was with low-dose FK-506. OKT3 and steroids were used to treat one rejection episode 2 weeks after transplantation, but the patient subsequently developed multiple infections and died 109 days after transplantation. At autopsy, the transplanted liver did not show any sign of rejection and well-preserved islets were present in portal triads sampled from the anterior inferior edge of the right lobe. Immunohistochemical labeling confirmed the presence of insulin-containing cells. This finding indicated that human islets can survive after intrahepatic allotransplantation, despite positive cross-match with no HLA antigen match, suggesting that upper abdominal exenteration and liver transplantation may constitute a protective factor for the survival of allogeneic human islets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-509
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1992


  • Human
  • Islet
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Endocrinology


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