Atherosclerotic vascular complications in diabetic transplant candidates

Am J Kidney Dis. 1997 Apr;29(4):601-7. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(97)90344-9.


Serious vascular complications limit the success of renal transplantation in diabetic patients. Nearly half of diabetic transplant recipients die within 3 years after transplantation from a vascular complication. However, it has been difficult to determine before transplantation which patients are likely to do poorly. Because atherosclerosis is a systemic disease, we hypothesized that diabetic transplant candidates with pretransplant coronary artery disease would be at high risk for vascular complications even if asymptomatic at the time of pretransplant evaluation. Our hypothesis was that insulin-dependent (IDDM) transplant candidates with coronary artery disease identified with pretransplant coronary angiography would have an increased number of vascular events (amputation, cerebral vascular accident [CVA], or myocardial infarction [MI]) within 3 years of follow-up. We prospectively studied 198 consecutive diabetic transplant candidates grouped on the basis of coronary artery disease. Group 1 patients had no stenosis that was 50% or greater, group 2 patients had one or more stenoses between 50% and 74%, and group 3 patients had one or more stenoses of 75% or greater. During median follow-up of 41 months, 64 patients experienced 98 amputations, 28 MIs, and seven CVAs. At 36 months of follow-up, 55% of group 3 patients, 30% of group 2 patients, and 11% of group 1 patients had experienced a vascular event (P < 0.001). Cox regression confirmed the association of coronary artery disease with subsequent vascular events. Patients with coronary artery disease had a sevenfold increased risk of amputation and a fourfold increased risk of myocardial infarction. Six of seven CVAs occurred in patients with coronary artery disease. We conclude that coronary artery disease identified at pretransplant evaluation is associated with an increased risk of noncoronary vascular complications within 3 years after evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amputation
  • Arteriosclerosis / complications*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / complications*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / surgery
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Risk Factors