Islet+Kidney Transplants Boost Survival in Type 1 Diabetes

Miriam E. Tucker  

September 18, 2023


Patients with type 1 diabetes who received transplanted islets along with a kidney transplant had significantly reduced mortality and transplant failure risks compared with those who received kidney alone and continued to use insulin.


  • Study population was all patients with type 1 diabetes in France who received a kidney transplant between 2000 and 2017.

  • Among 2393 patients, 327 were eligible for islet transplantation, including 47 who were actually transplanted with islets.

  • The subjects were matched for factors including year of transplantation, recipient age, kidney function, and A1c.


  • Those receiving islets along with the kidney transplant had a 53% lower risk of graft failure compared with the kidney-alone group.

  • Those receiving islet transplantation had a significantly higher estimated life expectancy during 10-year follow-up (9.61 vs 8.85 years).

  • At 1 year post islet transplant, there was an estimated 89.4% probability of graft survival and a 70.2% probability of achieving independence from insulin.


"Although islet transplantation has previously been shown to improve glycemic control compared with conventional insulin therapy in recent clinical trials, little was known about its long-term impact on patient prognosis until now.…These results are exciting and provide hope for people living with type 1 diabetes and kidney transplants."


Presented September 17, 2023, at the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT) Congress 2023 by Mehdi Maanaoui, MD, a nephrologist at the University of Lille, Lille, France.


Observational, potential for residual confounding.


Maanaoui reports no relevant financial relationships.

Miriam E. Tucker is a freelance journalist based in the Washington, DC, area. She is a regular contributor to Medscape, with other work appearing in The Washington Post, NPR’s Shots blog, and Diabetes Forecast magazine. She is on Twitter @MiriamETucker.

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