Transplantation for diabetic nephropathy at Groote Schuur Hospital

  • E.R. Lemmer
  • C.R. Swanepoel
  • D Kahn
  • R van zyl-Smit


Over a period of 6 years, 9 patients with diabetic nephropathy received renal allografts at Groote Schuur Hospital. This low figure represents 2,8% of the total number of renal transplants done at our institution, and is evidence of concern about the apparent poor results of transplantation in these patients. After 2 years, patients and graft survival rates in diabetics were 87% and 62% respectively. Vascular disease was a major problem. Six patients developed limb gangrene, and symptomatic coronary and cerebrovascular disease developed in 2 patients. Infections were common and included wound sepsis, cellulitis, candidiasis and urinary tract infections. Diabetes was poorly controlled after transplantation in 5 patients. Proliferative retinopathy was present in 6 patients but remained stable after transplantation.

Despite very strict selection criteria, the results of renal transplantation in diabetic patients remain poor. Better treatment strategies are needed to justify acceptance of these patients for transplantation.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135