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02-06-2018 | Post-transplant diabetes mellitus | Review | Article

Post-Liver Transplantation Diabetes Mellitus: A Review of Relevance and Approach to Treatment

Diabetes Therapy

Authors: Maria J. Peláez-Jaramillo, Allison A. Cárdenas-Mojica, Paula V. Gaete, Carlos O. Mendivil

Publisher: Springer Healthcare


Post-liver transplantation diabetes mellitus (PLTDM) develops in up to 30% of liver transplant recipients and is associated with increased risk of mortality and multiple morbid outcomes. PLTDM is a multicausal disorder, but the main risk factor is the use of immunosuppressive agents of the calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) family (tacrolimus and cyclosporine). Additional factors, such as pre-transplant overweight, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatitis C virus infection, may further increase risk of developing PLTDM. A diagnosis of PLTDM should be established only after doses of CNI and steroids are stable and the post-operative stress has been overcome. The predominant defect induced by CNI is insulin secretory dysfunction. Plasma glucose control must start immediately after the transplant procedure in order to improve long-term results for both patient and transplant. Among the better known antidiabetics, metformin and DPP-4 inhibitors have a particularly benign profile in the PLTDM context and are the preferred oral agents for long-term management. Insulin therapy is also an effective approach that addresses the prevailing pathophysiological defect of the disorder. There is still insufficient evidence about the impact of newer families of antidiabetics (GLP-1 agonists, SGLT-2 inhibitors) on PLTDM. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, course of disease and medical management of PLTDM.

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