Post-transplant diabetes mellitus

Clin Med (Lond). 2019 Sep;19(5):392-395. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2019-0195.


Post-transplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM) is common following solid organ transplantation, and is a risk factor for graft failure and patient mortality. In addition to standard diabetes risk factors such as obesity and ethnicity, patients undergoing transplantation also have the additional risk factors of immunosuppressive agents and infections such as hepatitis C. Patients undergoing transplant assessment should be screened for diabetes. If non-diabetic, but deemed at high risk, they should be offered careful lifestyle advice to reduce risk of post-transplant weight gain and therefore reduce risk of PTDM. Hyperglycaemia in the early post-operative period should be managed ideally with insulin therapy. Once clinically stable, there may be an opportunity to reduce or stop insulin, and consider oral hypoglycaemic agents. Despite lack of evidence from randomised trials, PTDM should be actively screened for in all transplant recipients, and actively managed with structured education, screening for complications, cardiovascular risk reduction and anti-hyperglycaemic therapy.

Keywords: Post-transplant diabetes; immunosuppression; transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / diagnosis
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Hyperglycemia / therapy
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications* / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications* / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Complications* / therapy
  • Risk Factors