Posttransplant diabetes mellitus in kidney transplant recipients receiving calcineurin or mTOR inhibitor drugs

Transplantation. 2006 Feb 15;81(3):335-41. doi: 10.1097/


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and risk factors for posttransplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM; defined as new insulin use and/or new hyperglycemia) in 528 kidney recipients using different immunosuppressive agents.

Methods: Maintenance therapy included mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine plus glucocorticoids in combination with Group I cyclosporine (263); Group II tacrolimus (60); or Group III sirolimus (205).

Results: The mean follow-up was 39.2 (range 9.0-103.8) months. Overall, the number of patients needing insulin was 7.4% (39/528). The incidences for Groups I, II, and III of 7.6%, 11.7%, and 5.9%, respectively, were not statistically different. Characteristics of patients with PTDM included older age (P=0.007); greater body weight (kg) at transplant, 6 months, and 12 months, respectively (P<0.001); greater BMI (kg/m2) at transplant, 6 months, and 12 months, respectively (P<0.001); more acute rejection episodes 28.2% vs. 13.5% (P=0.012); and increased incidence in African Americans (P=0.03). Multivariable analysis demonstrated increased risk for PTDM (defined as new insulin use) for tacrolimus, (hazard ratio [HR] 3.794, P=0.007); treated rejections (HR 2.491, P=0.0115); age (HR 1.407, P=0.0116); and BMI (HR 1.153, P<0.0001). New insulin use occurred sooner and with less total glucocorticoid dose for tacrolimus patients. If PTDM is defined as all cases of new hyperglycemia, then no immunosuppressive drug group demonstrated an increased risk. CONCLUSION.: The risk for developing PTDM is greatest among older recipients, and those obese at the time of transplant; those given steroid pulse therapy were at exceptionally high-risk. PTDM risk reduction should focus on weight loss in the obese end-stage renal disease population prior to transplant.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Protein Kinases / drug effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use*


  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Cyclosporine
  • Protein Kinases
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Sirolimus
  • Tacrolimus