New-onset diabetes after renal transplantation: diagnosis, incidence, risk factors, impact on outcomes, and novel implications

Transplant Proc. 2011 Jun;43(5):1375-94. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2011.04.008.


Objective: New-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT) is a multifactorial, complex metabolic disorder associated with impaired long-term graft function, reduced recipient survival, and increased risks of cardiovascular disease and infectious complications. The impact of NODAT is generally underestimated partly due to the inconsistent criteria that have been previously used for its diagnosis and to the generally short observation periods. The aim of this article was to review the recent literature on NODAT and to highlight the novel implications.

Findings: The 2010 American Diabetes Association guidelines provide useful, simplified criteria to unify the diagnosis including application of hemoglobin A1C levels. We sought to establish the impact of various modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors. A vast number of papers have examined the effects of immunosuppressive medications on the development of NODAT: Neither calcineurin inhibitor nor sirolimus (SRL) or steroids seems to be innocent of contributing to it. Immunosuppressants account for 74% of the occurrence of NODAT. Among modifiable risk factors, obesity is independent and significant, with great prevalence in the population. In additional to lifestyle modifications, the role of bariatric surgery (BS) either before or after transplantation is highlighted herein as a strategy to reduce disease in the view of the results among overweight, nontransplanted patients.

Summary: Because of the strong association between high glucose values in the early posttransplant period and the development of NODAT, the condition must be recognized early after (or even before) transplantation by intensive screening. Patients at risk for NODAT must modify appropriate risk factors and particularly undergo pretransplant planning and/or posttransplant adjustment individualizing immunosuppressive therapy to mitigate the risk of this serious complication.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents