β-cell replacement therapy (βCRT), including pancreas transplantation alone (PTA) and islet transplantation (ITX), is a treatment option for selected type 1 diabetes patients. All potential candidates for βCRT in Norway are referred to one national transplant centre for evaluation before any pre-transplant workup is started. This evaluation was performed by a transplant nephrologist alone prior to 2015 and by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) from 2015. We have reviewed the allocation of patients to treatment modality and the 1-year clinical outcome for the patients after transplantation.
Research design and methods
Medical charts of all patients evaluated for βCRT between 2010 and 2020 in Norway were retrospectively analysed and the outcome of patients receiving βCRT were studied.
One hundred and forty-four patients were assessed for βCRT eligibility between 2010 and 2020. After MDT evaluation was introduced for βCRT eligibility in 2015, the percentage of referred patients accepted for the transplant waiting list fell from 84% to 40% (P < 0.005). One year after transplantation, 73% of the PTA and none of the ITX patients were independent of exogenous insulin, 8% of the PTA and 90% of the ITX patients had partial graft function while 19% of the PTA and 10% of the ITX patients suffered from graft loss.
The acceptance rate for βCRT was significantly reduced during a 10-year observation period and 81% of the PTA and 90% of the ITX patients had partial or normal graft function 1 year post-transplant.