(HealthDay News) — Islet transplantation seems safe and efficient for restoring glycemic control in type 1 diabetes, according to research published online June 11 in Diabetes Care.
Sandrine Lablanche, M.D., from Grenoble University Hospital in France, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis to describe five-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 five-year and four-year follow-up, respectively. At one, four, and five years post-transplantation, 83, 67, and 58 percent of ITA recipients and 80, 70, and 60 percent of IAK transplant recipients, respectively, achieved a hemoglobin A1c level below 7 percent and were free from severe hypoglycemia. At the preinfusion stage, none of the ITA recipients and 10 percent of the IAK transplant recipients met this composite criterion. During the entire follow-up period, 75 percent 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 percent of recipients; 33 percent 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 authors write.