Transplantation of the pancreas

The pancreas produces enzymes essential for the digestion of food in the intestines, as well as the hormones insulin and glucagon, which regulate the blood sugar level. In Germany, a pancreas transplant is only available for type 1 diabetics whose pancreas ceased to produce insulin. This might lead to vascular damage and circulatory disorders, thus causing harm to the kidneys which may eventually bring about kidney failure. In this case there is the option of combined pancreas-kidney-transplantation.

In recent years, doctors have been attempting to transplant only the insulin-producing cells (islet cells) instead of the whole organ. For this procedure, two to three pancreases are needed per patient. 

Further information on the website of the DSO Online Version

On pancreatic islet transplantation see:

Rickels, M. R. / Robertson, R. P. (2019): Pancreatic Islet Transplantation in Humans. Recent Progress and Future Directions. In: Endocrine Reviews, 40(2), 631–668. Online Version


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