The aim of this study was to investigate liver microvascular adaptation following the intraportal infusion of pancreatic islets (pancreatic islet transplantation [islet-tx]) in diabetic patients using dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI). DCE-MRI was performed before and 7 days after islet-tx in six diabetic patients. Initial area under curve (AUC60) and volume transfer coefficient (Ktrans) were assessed as markers of liver perfusion. Clinical and metabolic monthly follow-up was performed in all patients, considering fasting C-peptide and β-score as main indices of graft function. High variability in the response of liver microvasculature to islet infusion was observed: two patients showed a significant reduction in liver perfusion after transplantation (pt.2: AUC60 = -23.4%, Ktrans = -31.7%; pt.4: AUC60 = -23.7%, Ktrans = -27.9%); three patients did not show any significant variation of liver perfusion and one patient showed a significant increase (pt.3: AUC60 = +31%, Ktrans = +42.8%). Interestingly, a correlation between DCE-MRI parameters and indices of graft function was observed and, in particular, both patients with DCE-MRI evidence of posttransplantation liver perfusion reduction experienced premature graft failure. Our preliminary study demonstrated that DCE-MRI may identify different adaptive responses of liver microvasculature in patients submitted to islet-tx. These different responses could have an impact on islet engraftment, although reported findings need confirmation from larger studies. This study shows that dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging identifies various adaptive responses of the liver microvasculature in islet transplant recipients and that these responses might have an impact on islet engraftment.
- liver microvascular changes
- pancreatic islet transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)