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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1990;5(3):220-5.

Post-transplant diabetes mellitus in renal allograft recipients: a matched-pair control study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.


The incidence of post-transplant diabetes mellitus was evaluated retrospectively in 901 consecutive renal transplant recipients. Thirty-two (3.6%) patients developed diabetes mellitus requiring drug therapy. 18 of 32 became hyperglycaemic within 3 months of transplantation. Post-transplant diabetes mellitus occurred in 24 of 628 (3.8%) patients treated with conventional therapy consisting in azathioprine and prednisone, and in 8 of 273 (2.9%) patients receiving cyclosporin A (CsA) in addition (triple therapy). To identify predisposing factors 32 non-diabetic patients matched for age, sex, number of graft, immunosuppressive protocol, and graft function at onset of diabetes were used as case controls. Thirteen of 32 patients with diabetes mellitus and 5 of 32 control patients had abnormal glucose tolerance pretransplant (P less than 0.025). HLA-B8 was significantly more frequent in patients with post-transplant diabetes mellitus than in control patients (9 of 29 vs 2 of 31, P less than 0.02). Twelve (38%) patients became diabetic during or immediately after anti-rejection therapy with intravenous pulse prednisone. Four diabetic patients experienced chronic pancreatitis pre-transplant. Family history of diabetes mellitus, bodyweight, number of rejection episodes, and immunosuppressive drug doses were similar in both groups. Actuarial patient and graft survival was not significantly different in diabetic patients and controls, although 10-year data tended to be better in controls. Thus, post-transplant diabetes mellitus was not a frequent complication in patients sometimes predisposed by an impaired glucose tolerance pre-transplant and was triggered by pulse prednisone therapy in 38%.

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