Impact of the number of infusions on 2-year results of islet-after-kidney transplantation in the GRAGIL network.
ABSTRACT Insulin independence after islet transplantation is generally achieved after multiple infusions. However, single infusion would increase the number of recipients. Our aim was to evaluate the results of islet-after-kidney transplantation according to the number of infusions.
Islets were isolated at the Geneva University, shipped, and transplanted into French patients from the Swiss-French GRAGIL network, on the "Edmonton" immunosuppression protocol between 2004 and 2010.
Nineteen patients were transplanted with 33 preparations. Fifteen patients reached 24 months follow-up; eight subjects were single-graft recipients and seven were double-graft recipients. Finally, single-graft recipients received a median of 5312 islet equivalents/kg (5186-6388) vs. 10,564 (10,054-11,375) for double-graft recipients (P=0.0003) with similar islet mass at first infusion. Insulin independence was achieved in five of eight single-graft subjects (62.5%) versus five of seven in double-graft subjects (71.4%), not significant. Median insulin independence duration was 4.7 (3.1-15.2) months after one infusion vs. 19 (9.6-20.8) months after two infusions (not significant). At 24 months posttransplant, comparing single- with double-graft patients, insulin doses were 0.23 (0.11-0.34) U/kg vs. 0.02 (0.0-0.23) U/kg, P=0.11; HbA1c was 6.5% (5.9%-6.8%) vs. 6.2% (5.9%-6.3%), P=0.16; and basal C-peptide was 302 (143-480) pmol/L vs. 599 (393-806) pmol/L, P=0.05. Only 37.5% of single-graft patients had a β-score ≥4 compared with 100% of double-graft patients (P=0.03). Two recipients experienced postinfusion bleeding, and two patients (13%) showed renal dysfunction in the absence of biopsy-proven rejection.
One infusion achieves good glycemic control and sometimes insulin independence. However, double-graft patients remain insulin-free longer, tend to have lower HbA1c, and show better graft function 24 months after transplant.