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S Afr Med J. 1985 Aug 31;68(5):298-301.

Transplantation for diabetic nephropathy.


The results of renal transplantation for end-stage diabetic nephropathy in 17 patients--11 receiving cadaver (CD) grafts and 6 related living donor (RLD) grafts--are reported. The transplants were rejected in 5 cases, in 4 acutely, and these patients were returned to haemodialysis; 3 of them subsequently died. One patient died of heart failure, but the graft was still functioning. The remaining 11 patients enjoy good renal function. The outcome was superior to results on dialysis, particularly for RLD grafts, and was comparable to results of transplantation for non-diabetic renal failure. Visual acuity tended to stabilize or improve after transplantation, but peripheral vascular disease progressed. Blood glucose control was suboptimal and requires more attention. Lipoproteins did not differ from those in non-diabetic patients. Renal transplantation is feasible and probably the preferred method of treatment for end-stage diabetic nephropathy.

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