Renal transplantation in diabetic patients

Transplant Proc. 2006 Apr;38(3):895-8. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2006.02.054.


Objective: Diabetes is one of the main causes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and admission to hemodialysis, and the demand for kidney transplantation in this population has increased. Our aim was to evaluate the clinical aspects and survival of diabetic patients with kidney transplants by comparing them with the nondiabetic population.

Materials and methods: Patients transplanted during the period from 1994 to 2003 were evaluated for this study. The transplant and demographic characteristics were analyzed by the chi-square test and Student t test according to the type of variable. Kaplan-Meier curves and the log-rank test were used to evaluate the graft and patient survival.

Results: From a total of 523 consecutive renal transplants, 35 (6.6%) were diabetics who were older than nondiabetics (47 +/- 11 years vs 37 +/- 16, P < .002). Patients received immunosuppression with cyclosporine (84.3%), tacrolimus (11.2%), azathioprine (46.6%), mycophenolate mofetil (43.5%), and steroids (all patients). The diabetic patients had a higher percentage of living donors (33.5% vs 17.2%; P = .04). Graft survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 82.7%, 70.9%, and 63.0% in the diabetic patients and 87.6%, 79.0%, and 72.5% (P = .6) in the nondiabetic patients. Patient survival at 5 years was 90.5% in diabetic patients vs 89.0% in nondiabetic patients (P = .9).

Conclusions: No differences were found in our series in transplant complications or survival in the diabetic patients compared with the nondiabetic patients. Kidney transplants, even with living donors, must be offered to well-selected diabetic patients without reservations.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / surgery*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / surgery*
  • Donor Selection
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Transplantation* / immunology
  • Kidney Transplantation* / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents