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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Prediabetes in Pediatric Recipients of Liver Transplant: Mechanism and Risk Factors.

  • Author(s): Perito, Emily R
  • Lustig, Robert H
  • Rosenthal, Philip
  • et al.

OBJECTIVE:To investigate the role of calcineurin inhibitor exposure and states of insulin resistance-obesity and adolescence-in prediabetes after pediatric liver transplant via oral glucose tolerance testing, which previously has not been done systematically in these at-risk youths. STUDY DESIGN:This was a cross-sectional study of 81 pediatric recipients of liver transplant. Prediabetes was defined as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; glucose ≥140 mg/dL at 2 hours) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG, ≥100 mg/dL). Corrected insulin response (CIR) was calculated as measure of insulin secretion, corrected for glucose (CIR30, CIR60, CIR120). RESULTS:Subjects were aged 8.1-30.0 years and 1.1-24.7 years post-transplant; 44% had prediabetes-27% IGT, 14% IFG, and 3% both. IGT was characterized by insulin hyposecretion, with lower CIR60 and CIR120 in IGT than subjects with normal glucose tolerance. Subjects with tacrolimus trough >6 µg/mL at study visit had lower CIR120 than those with trough ≤6 µg/mL and those off calcineurin-inhibitors. Mean of tacrolimus troughs preceding the study visit, years since transplant, and rejection episodes were not associated significantly with lower CIR. CIR suppression by tacrolimus was most pronounced >6 years from transplant. Overweight/obese subjects and adolescents who retained normal glucose tolerance had greater CIR than those who were IGT. CONCLUSION:IGT after pediatric liver transplant is driven by inadequate insulin secretion. It is quite common but not detectable with fasting laboratory values-the screening recommended by current guidelines. Calcineurin inhibitors suppress insulin secretion in these patients in a dose-dependent manner. Given the recent focus on long-term outcomes and immunosuppression withdrawal in these children, longitudinal studies are warranted to investigate whether IGT is reversible with calcineurin inhibitor minimization.

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