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J Heart Transplant. 1989 Mar-Apr;8(2):181-3.

Posttransplantation diabetes mellitus in heart transplant recipients.

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Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261.


This study was undertaken to investigate the impact of diabetes, which develops after heart transplantation, on infection and patient survival. Nondiabetic patients (366) underwent heart transplantation at our institution between June 1, 1980 and January 12, 1988. Of these patients, 29 (8%) developed posttransplantation diabetes (PTD), defined as a continued need for hypoglycemic agents. The PTD group did not differ significantly from the nondiabetic recipients in age, sex, or human leukocyte antigen type. The average age in the PTD group was 49 years. Average length of follow-up was 21 months (range 4 to 46 months). Eighteen patients are maintained on insulin. Eight patients are on oral hypoglycemic agents. Three patients died while on insulin. The average prednisone dosage in this group is 0.23 mg/kg/day. There have been 18 minor infections and four potentially serious nonlethal infections in the 27 PTD recipients. One lethal infection occurred 33 months after heart transplantation. The only other fatality was related to metastatic bladder cancer. This lethal infection rate of 3% compares with a rate of 11% in all nondiabetic recipients who have follow-up for 21 months. The 3-year actuarial survival of the PTD group is 75%, which compares favorably with the survival of nondiabetic patients. PTD cannot be predicted by sex, age, or human leukocyte type before transplantation, and it does not significantly increase the incidence of mortality or serious infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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