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Diabetes is the pandemic disease of the modern era, with 10% of these patients having type 1 diabetes mellitus. Despite the prevalence, morbidities, and associated financial burden, treatment options have not changed since the introduction of injectable insulin. To date, over 40,000 pancreas transplants have been performed globally. It remains the only known method for restoring glycemic control and thus curing type 1 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this review is to bring pancreatic transplantation out of the specialist realm, informing practitioners about this important procedure, so that they feel better equipped to refer suitable patients for transplantation and manage, counsel, and support when encountering them within their own specialty. This study was a narrative review conducted in October 2015, with OVID interface searching EMBASE and MEDLINE databases, using Timeframe: Inception to October 2015. Articles were assessed for clinical relevance and most up-to-date content, with articles written in English as the only inclusion criterion. Other sources used included conference proceedings/presentations and unpublished data from our institution (Oxford Transplant Centre). Pancreatic transplantation is growing and has quickly become the gold standard of care for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and renal failure. Significant improvements in quality of life and life expectancy make pancreatic transplant a viable and economically feasible intervention. It remains the most effective method of establishing and maintaining euglycemia, halting and potentially reversing complications associated with diabetes.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Med

Publication Date





667 - 673


Diabetes, Euglycemia, Pancreas, Transplant, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Diabetic Nephropathies, Humans, Kidney Failure, Chronic, Kidney Transplantation, Pancreas Transplantation, Quality of Life