Glucose metabolism in the first 3 years after renal transplantation in patients receiving tacrolimus versus cyclosporine-based immunosuppression

E.M. van Duijnhoven*, M.H. Christiaans, J.M.M. Boots, F.H.M. Nieman, B.H.R. Wolffenbuttel, J.P. van Hooff

*Corresponding author for this work

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The long-term effects of tacrolimus and cyclosporine on pancreatic islet cell function in renal transplant recipients are unclear. Therefore, a prospective, randomized, longitudinal study was performed that compared glucose metabolism in adult kidney allograft recipients on tacrolimus versus cyclosporine-based immunosuppression. Twenty-three white renal allograft recipients, randomized for either therapy with cyclosporine or tacrolimus, underwent intravenous glucose tolerance tests 6 times during the first 3 yr after transplantation. Concomitant therapy (low-dose steroids and azathioprine) was the same in both groups. Insulin sensitivity index (kG), insulin resistance (insulin/glucose ratio and homeostasis model assessment), and C-peptide and insulin secretion were calculated. Trough levels of tacrolimus and cyclosporine were measured. The occurrence of posttransplantation diabetes mellitus was prospectively monitored. Statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA for repeated measures, and parametric and nonparametric tests were also performed. Although only one patient treated with cyclosporine developed posttransplantation diabetes mellitus, kG levels were below normal in up to one-third of both patients who received tacrolimus and cyclosporine. The only significant difference between patients who received tacrolimus and those who received cyclosporine was in pancreatic secretion capacity at week 3 after transplantation, when the increment of C-peptide secretion was 57% lower and the increment of insulin secretion was 48% lower for patients receiving tacrolimus. In both groups, from week 3 to month 6, there was a tendency toward an increase in kG, despite a significant increase in fasting glucose and insulin resistance calculated by homeostasis model assessment. After month 6, there were no significant changes in any of the parameters of glucose metabolism, indicating that long-term use of either tacrolimus or cyclosporine does not cause chronic, cumulative pancreatic toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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