Islet Cell or Pancreas Transplantation

  • Lorenzo PiemontiEmail author
  • Carlo Socci
  • Rita Nano
  • Paola Maffi
  • Antonio Secchi
Living reference work entry
Part of the Endocrinology book series (ENDOCR)


Islet cell or pancreas transplantation is the only long-term diabetes treatment that consistently results in normal hemoglobin A1c levels without the risk of severe hypoglycemia. Additionally, islet cell or pancreas transplantation may prevent, halt, or even reverse the complications of diabetes. Consequently, it is an important part of the management of a subset of patients with diabetes, namely, those in renal failure and those with life-threatening complications of their diabetes such as hypoglycemic unawareness. Here, we explore the indications, options, and outcomes of islet cell or pancreas transplantation as a treatment for diabetes mellitus. The morbidity of solid-organ pancreas transplantation restricts pancreas transplantation to relatively younger and fitter patients. Islet cell transplantation is less invasive and, therefore, more appealing to patients, endocrinologists, and diabetologists. Pancreas transplants and islet transplants should be considered complementary, not mutually exclusive, procedures that are chosen on the basis of the individual patient’s surgical risk. As the mortality and morbidity of solid pancreas transplantation diminish and the longer-term outcomes of both solid-organ and islet transplantation improve, the appropriate indications for both procedures will expand, particularly with the increasing incidence of diabetes as well as evidence that transplantation is suitable not only for type 1 diabetics but also for selected insulin-dependent patients with type 2 diabetes.


Pancreas transplantation Islet transplantation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo Piemonti
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carlo Socci
    • 3
  • Rita Nano
    • 1
  • Paola Maffi
    • 1
    • 4
  • Antonio Secchi
    • 5
    • 2
  1. 1.Diabetes Research Institute (SR-DRI)IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly
  2. 2.Internal Medicine and Transplant Unit, Vita-Salute San Raffaele UniversityMilanItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Transplant SurgeryIRCCS San Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly
  4. 4.Clinical Transplant UnitIRCCS San Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly
  5. 5.Internal Medicine and Transplant UnitMilanItaly

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