Objective: Successful simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation (SPK) in Type 1 diabetic (T1DM) patients results in improved cardiovascular outcome and survival. However, it is doubtful whether the impairment of cardiovascular and endothelial function in T1DM can be completely reversed.
Methods: Pulse-wave velocity, stroke volume, heart rate, serological markers of endothelial dysfunction (soluble intercellular, vascular cell-adhesion molecules, E-selectin, and plasminogen-activator-inhibitor-1) were measured in 10 T1DM patients after SPK with non-diabetic glucose levels, 10 T1DM patients with poor [T1DM>8; glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c)>8%], and 10 with good glucose control (T1DM<7, HbA1c<7%), in 6 non-diabetic patients after kidney transplantation (KT) and 9 non-diabetic control subjects (CON), matching for major anthropometric characteristics.
Results: Pulse-wave velocity was increased in SPK (P < 0.02 vs. CON, KT, T1DM<7) and in T1DM>8 (P < 0.02 vs. T1DM<7). Systolic blood pressure was increased in SPK (P < 0.05 vs. CON). Stroke volume was reduced in SPK, T1DM>8 and T1DM<7 and KT (P < 0.01 vs. CON). Heart rate was elevated in SPK and in T1DM>8 (P < 0.0003 vs. CON and T1DM<7). In SPK, soluble intercellular and vascular cell-adhesion molecules were 100% and 44% higher (P < 0.03 vs. CON), respectively, while plasminogen-activator-inhibitor-1 was decreased in SPK (P < 0.02 vs. CON).
Conclusion: T1DM patients after SPK experience arterial stiffness, a higher heart-rate and blood pressure, reduced stroke volume and serological signs of endothelial dysfunction. Thus, functional and structural cardiovascular alterations as a result of glucotoxicity, uraemia and hypertension in T1DM might not be completely resolved by SPK.