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BACKGROUND: Pancreas and islet transplantation outcomes are negatively impacted by injury to the endocrine cells from acute stress during donor death, organ procurement, processing, and transplant procedures. Here, we report a novel electron microscopy scoring system, the Newcastle Pancreas Endocrine Stress Score (NPESS). METHODS: NPESS was adapted and expanded from our previously validated method for scoring pancreatic exocrine acinar cells, yielding a 4-point scale (0-3) classifying ultrastructural pathology in endocrine cell nuclei, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoplasmic vacuolization, and secretory granule depletion, with a maximum additive score of 15. We applied NPESS in a cohort of deceased organ donors after brainstem (DBD) and circulatory (DCD) death with a wide range of cold ischemic times (3.6-35.9 h) including 3 donors with type 1 and 3 with type 2 diabetes to assess islets in situ (n = 30) in addition to pancreata (n = 3) pre- and postislet isolation. RESULTS: In DBD pancreata, NPESS correlated with cold ischemic time (head: r = 0.55; P = 0.02) and mirrored exocrine score (r = 0.48; P = 0.01). When stratified by endocrine phenotype, cells with granules of heterogeneous morphology had higher scores than α, β, and δ cells (P 

Original publication




Journal article


Transplant Direct

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