Referral of type 1 diabetic patients to a nephrology unit: Will pre-emptive transplantation change our life?

Chair of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
Journal of nephrology (Impact Factor: 1.45). 03/2004; 17(2):275-83.
Source: PubMed


Type 1 diabetic patients are a small but challenging subset of chronic kidney disease. The new frontiers of pancreas-kidney transplantation may enhance the need for early referral.
To analyze the referral pattern of type 1 diabetics to a specialized Nephrology Unit, and to quantify the indications for pancreas or pre-emptive pancreas-kidney transplantation at referral in this population.
Setting of study was a Nephrology Outpatient Unit, dedicated to diabetics, active since 1986; period of study 1991--2002. The main biochemical and clinical parameters were analyzed at referral. Indications for transplantation were put at: serum creatinine (sCr)> or =2 mg/dL or > or =3 mg/dL and/or nephrotic syndrome. Pancreas: lesser degrees of functional impairment without worsening after FK-506 challenge.
90 type 1 diabetics were referred: 48 males, 42 females; median age: 38 (18-65) years; median diabetological follow-up 20 (3-37) years; sCr 1.2 (0.6-7) mg/dL, proteinuria 0.9 (0-12.3) g/day; creatinine clearance: 58 (6-234) ml/min; Hbalc: 8.8% (5.9-14), diastolic blood pressure: 80 (55-100) mmHg, systolic blood pressure: 137.5 (70-180) mmHg. 85.6% had signs of end-organ damage due to diabetes. 67% of the patients had diabetic nephropathy, 20.7% hypertensive with or without diabetic nephropathy. According to the chosen criteria, 30.6% had indications for pancreas-kidney graft (sCr > or = 2 mg/dL), 25.9% considering sCr > or = 3 mg/dL; 28.2% further patients could be considered for isolated pancreas graft.
At referral to the nephrologist, over 50% of type 1 diabetics may have indications for pancreas-kidney or pancreas graft; an earlier multidisciplinary work-up is needed to optimize an early pre-emptive transplant approach.

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    ABSTRACT: Preemptive simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplantation (SKPT) was performed in two patients with Type 1 diabetes and nephrotic syndrome due to diabetic nephropathy, although the native kidneys exhibited near-normal function. Before and 3 months as well as 12 months after SKPT S-creatinine, creatinine clearance (Cr-Cl) and urinary protein excretion were measured. Additionally, 99mTC scintigraphic examinations of the kidneys were performed 3 and 12 months after SKPT. Thereby, the injected 99mTC activities were assessed in the kidney graft as well as in the patient's native kidneys. Aim of the study was to find out the impact of successful SKPT on proteinuria and further functioning of the patient's own kidneys after transplantation. Indication for pancreas transplantation was severe diabetic autonomic neuropathy and Brittle diabetes, respectively. In Patient 1, we registered 3 months after SKPT a near-normal protein excretion of mean 0.20 g/24-h urine at a Cr-Cl of 82 ml/ min. The scintigraphic examinations showed 60% of the radioactivity in the kidney graft and 40% in the patient's own kidneys (22% right and 18% left). Data 1 year after SKPT were: mean protein excretion 0.28 g/24-h urine, Cr-Cl 78 ml/min and in the scan, furthermore, 30% of the activity in the patient's native kidneys (16% right and 14% left). In Patient 2 after 3 months we obtained a mean protein excretion of 0.18 g/24-h urine at a Cr-Cl of 80 ml/min. Scintigram of the kidneys: 58% of the injected activity were measured in the kidney graft and 42% in the patient's own kidneys (22% right and 20% left). After 12 months of SKPT we measured a mean protein of 0.26 g/24-h urine and Cr-Cl 78 ml/min. Scintigram of the kidneys: 36% of the activity was in the patient's native kidneys (18% right and left). We conclude that in diabetic patients with nephrotic syndrome and near-normal function of the native kidneys SKPT leads to rapid and nearly complete diminution of proteinuria although the residual function of the patient's native kidneys was about 40% at 3 months after transplantation and slightly lower at 12 months after SKPT.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2007 · Clinical nephrology