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Kidney transplant in diabetic patients: modalities, indications and results

Érika B Rangel1*, João R de Sá2, Cláudio S Melaragno1, Adriano M Gonzalez3, Marcelo M Linhares3, Alcides Salzedas3 and José O Medina-Pestana1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Nephrology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil

2 Division of Endocrinology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil

3 Departament of Sugery, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil

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Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 2009, 1:2  doi:10.1186/1758-5996-1-2

Published: 26 August 2009



Diabetes is a disease of increasing worldwide prevalence and is the main cause of chronic renal failure. Type 1 diabetic patients with chronic renal failure have the following therapy options: kidney transplant from a living donor, pancreas after kidney transplant, simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant, or awaiting a deceased donor kidney transplant. For type 2 diabetic patients, only kidney transplant from deceased or living donors are recommended. Patient survival after kidney transplant has been improving for all age ranges in comparison to the dialysis therapy. The main causes of mortality after transplant are cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, infections and neoplasias. Five-year patient survival for type 2 diabetic patients is lower than the non-diabetics' because they are older and have higher body mass index on the occasion of the transplant and both pre- and posttransplant cardiovascular diseases prevalences. The increased postransplant cardiovascular mortality in these patients is attributed to the presence of well-known risk factors, such as insulin resistance, higher triglycerides values, lower HDL-cholesterol values, abnormalities in fibrinolysis and coagulation and endothelial dysfunction. In type 1 diabetic patients, simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant is associated with lower prevalence of vascular diseases, including acute myocardial infarction, stroke and amputation in comparison to isolated kidney transplant and dialysis therapy.


Type 1 and 2 diabetic patients present higher survival rates after transplant in comparison to the dialysis therapy, although the prevalence of cardiovascular events and infectious complications remain higher than in the general population.