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Transplant Proc. 2005 Jul-Aug;37(6):2636-7.

New-onset diabetes after liver transplantation.

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Centro Trapianti di Fegato-Azienda Ospedaliera S. Giovanni Battista di Torino, Torino, Italy.



The impact of new-onset diabetes (NOD) posttransplantation has been underestimated in the past. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of diabetes after liver transplantation.


We retrospectively analyzed the incidence of NOD in 899 patients transplanted in our center. According to International Consensus 2003 Guidelines, criteria for diagnosis of diabetes were: fasting plasma glucose > or =126 mg/dL, symptoms of diabetes plus casual plasma glucose concentrations > or =200 mg/dL, and 2-hour plasma glucose levels > or =200 mg/dL during an oral glucose tolerance test. We considered only patients with follow-up over 10 months. We evaluated the risk factors correlated with NOD (age, hepatitis C virus [HCV] positivity, tacrolimus vs cyclosporine, steatosic graft), and the outcomes of diabetic patient and their grafts.


The incidence of NOD was 10.8% (90/830 patients). Sixty nine patients were diabetic before transplantation. Recipient age >45 years (14.7% vs 6.8%, P = .002, OR = 2.4) and HCV positivity (15.5% vs 7.8%, P = .001, OR = 2.2) significantly correlated with NOD. Multivariate analysis confirmed these variables to be independently associated with diabetic risk. Tacrolimus was associated with an increased risk of NOD (16.2% in HCV-negative patients, 25% in HCV-positive patients), but this difference was not statistically significant. Steatotic grafts (>10%) were associated with an increased risk of NOD (28.6% vs 10%, P = .001, OR = 3.6). The outcome of patients and grafts in the group of diabetic patients was not significantly different from all other patients.


The incidence of NOD was more relevant in patients older than 45 years and/or HCV-positive. A steatotic graft was an important risk factor, and the match with high-risk patients should be avoided.

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