New-onset diabetes after kidney transplantation-changes and challenges

Am J Transplant. 2012 Apr;12(4):820-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03855.x. Epub 2011 Nov 28.


Despite substantial improvement in short-term results after kidney transplantation, increases in long-term graft survival have been modest. A significant impediment has been the morbidity and mortality attributable to cardiovascular disease (CVD). New-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events. This review examines recent literature surrounding diagnosis, outcomes and management of NODAT. Amongst otherwise heterogeneous studies, a common finding is the relative insensitivity of fasting blood glucose (FBG) as a screening test. Incorporating self-testing of afternoon capillary BG and glycohemoglobin (HbA(1c) ) detects many cases that would otherwise remain undetected without the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Assessing the impact of NODAT on patient and graft survival is complicated by changes to diagnostic criteria, evolution of immunosuppressive regimens and increasing attention to cardiovascular risk management. Although recent studies reinforce a link between NODAT and death with a functioning graft (DWFG), there seems to be little effect on death-censored graft loss. The significance of glycemic control and diabetes resolution for patient outcomes remain notably absent from NODAT literature and treatment is also a neglected area. This review examines new and old therapeutic options, emphasizing the need to assess β-cell pathology in customizing therapy. Finally, areas warranting further research are considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Graft Rejection / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors