The Use of GLP1R Agonists for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Aleksandra Kukla, Jennifer Hill, Massini Merzkani, Andrew Bentall, Elizabeth C. Lorenz, Walter D. Park, Matthew D'Costa, Yogish C. Kudva, Mark D. Stegall, Pankaj Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP1RA) have been shown to improve glucose control and diabetes-related comorbidities in patients without solid organ transplants. The effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of GLP1RA after kidney transplantation have not been adequately studied. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed data on kidney transplant recipients performed in our institution, who were initiated on GLP1RA either for the treatment of type 2 diabetes diagnosed before transplantation or posttransplant diabetes. We analyzed efficacy, safety, and the effect on kidney allograft function. Results. Seventeen kidney transplant recipients were initiated on GLP1RA therapy, 14 of which remained on the medication for at least 12 months. The use of GLP1RA had no significant impact on weight loss, but was associated with a significant reduction in the total daily insulin dose, from the median of 63 [interquartile range 43-113] IU to 44 [interquartile range 25-88] and reduction in the risk of hypoglycemia in patients who were on therapy for at least approximately 12 months. Kidney function remained stable and none of the recipients experienced acute rejection. Tacrolimus dose was not significantly changed. Five patients (29%) discontinued GLP1RA therapy - 4 due to side effects and 1 due to uncontrolled hyperglycemia. Conclusions. GLP1RA may be a relatively safe and effective treatment for kidney transplant recipients with type 2 diabetes that allows for a reduction in insulin requirements. More studies are needed to determine whether the use of these agents will translate into an improvement in allograft and patient survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere524
JournalTransplantation Direct
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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