Metabolic and nutritional complications of renal transplantation

J Ren Nutr. 2007 Jan;17(1):97-102. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2006.10.017.


Renal transplantation is the gold standard therapy for patients with end-stage renal disease. However, renal transplantation is associated with various metabolic and nutritional complications. This review focuses primarily on factors that have a significant impact on cardiovascular disease, namely, hyperlipidemia, posttransplant diabetes mellitus, and hyperhomocysteinemia. The prevalence of hyperlipidemia in renal transplant patients is estimated at 80% to 90%. Corticosteroids, cyclosporine, and sirolimus are commonly associated with hyperlipidemia. The incidence of posttransplant diabetes mellitus is estimated to be 24% at 36 months post transplant. Glucocorticoids induce metabolic changes that result in hyperglycemia. Calcineurin inhibitors have direct islet cell toxicity and induced alterations in the transcriptional regulation of insulin. Hyperhomocysteinemia is common in renal transplant recipients and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / chemically induced*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / drug therapy
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / etiology*
  • Hyperlipidemias / chemically induced*
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents