Clinical and Genetic Risk Factors for Posttransplant Diabetes Mellitus in Adult Renal Transplant Recipients Treated with Tacrolimus

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The present study investigated the incidence of posttransplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM) and calculated the risk of developing PTDM under a tacrolimus-based immunosuppression based on clinical characteristics, tacrolimus pharmacokinetics, and genetic polymorphisms related to tacrolimus pharmacokinetics or diabetes mellitus.


Seventy nondiabetic adult kidney recipients were studied. Patients with continuous high plasma glucose levels, over 6.5 mg/dl of hemoglobin A1c, or requiring insulin and/or oral antidiabetic agents for more than 3 months after transplantation 6 months postoperatively were diagnosed as having PTDM. Twelve genomic polymorphisms were assessed.


Six months after transplantation, 10 recipients (14.3%) developed PTDM. Positive risk factors were age (P=0.019) and body mass index (P=0.038). There were no significant differences in acute rejection rate, total steroid doses, tacrolimus pharmacokinetics or its related to genetic polymorphisms between the two groups. The frequency of PTDM was significantly higher in patients with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) TaqI t allele than in those with the TT genotype (P=0.013). On multivariate analysis, age over 50 years (odds ratio 9.28, P=0.003) and the presence of the VDR TaqI t allele (odds ratio 7.05, P=0.048) were correlated with the development of PTDM.


The incidence of PTDM was 14.3% in our cohort. Age over 50 years was a risk factor. The presence of the VDR TaqI t allele may also be a risk factor for PTDM, suggesting that genotyping of diabetes-related polymorphisms is a possible method of predicting a patient's risk for developing PTDM and would be a valuable asset in selecting appropriate immunosuppressive regimens for individuals.

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