Conference Coverage

In Type 1 Diabetes, Cardiac Measures Improved After Pancreas Transplant



BERLIN -- A pancreas-only transplant improved cardiac function and morphology in a group of patients with type 1 diabetes.

After 5 years, the patients showed significantly improved posterior wall and interventricular septal thickness, as well as a significantly increased left ventricular ejection fraction, Dr. Margherita Occhipinti said at the annual meeting of the European Societies for the Study of Diabetes.

Dr. Margherita Occhipinti

She reported 5-year follow-up data on 35 patients with type 1 diabetes who underwent the procedure. The patients were a mean of 38 years old and had a mean disease duration of 25 years. Their mean insulin requirement was 43 U/day.

Most of the transplants (74%) were performed with a portal-enteric drain technique; the remainder had systemic-enteric drainage, said Dr. Occhipinti of the University of Pisa (Italy). The majority (77%) had induction therapy with basiliximab; the rest had antithymocyte globulin (rabbit) induction. The maintenance immunosuppressant regimen was a combination of mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, and steroids.

At last follow-up, fasting plasma glucose level had normalized, hemoglobin A1c level had fallen from 9% to just under 6%, and C-peptide level had increased from under 1 ng/mL to almost 3 ng/mL.

There were no significant changes in either systolic or diastolic blood pressure. However, the number of patients taking ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers decreased from 59% to 43%. Total and LDL cholesterol levels decreased significantly, although there were no significant changes in HDL cholesterol or triglycerides.

Cardiac morphology changed significantly, Dr. Occhipinti said, including a significant decrease in posterior wall thickness during diastole, from 8.1 mm to 7.0 mm, and interventricular septum thickness during diastole, from 9.3 mm to 8.7 mm. The left ventricular mass index decreased significantly, from 82 mg/m2 to 73 mg/m2; and the left ventricular ejection fraction increased significantly, from 55.3% to 57.9%.

Dr. Occhipinti compared these changes to 2-year findings in a group of 11 control patients who were on a transplant waiting list or who had a failed pancreatic transplant.

In this group, there were no significant changes in HbA1c, left ventricular ejection fraction, or any of the measures of cardiac morphology.

Dr. Occhipinti said she had no relevant financial disclosures.

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