Nine patients who became diabetic after upper-abdominal exenteration and liver transplantation were given pancreatic islet-cell grafts obtained from the liver donor (eight cases), a third-party donor (one), or both (four). Two patients were diabetic when they died of infections after 48 and 109 days, as was a third patient who died of tumour recurrence after 178 days. The other 6 are alive 101-186 days postoperatively, and five are insulin-free or on insulin only during night-time parenteral alimentation. C-peptide increased 1.7 to 3.3 fold in response to intravenous glucose in these five patients who have had glycosylated haemoglobin in the high normal range. However, the kinetics of the C-peptide responses to intravenous glucose in all eight patients tested revealed an absent first-phase release and a delayed peak response consistent with transplantation and/or engraftment of a suboptimal islet cell mass. The longest survivor, who requires neither parenteral alimentation nor insulin, is the first unequivocal example of successful clinical islet-cell transplantation.
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