Posttransplant hyperglycemia is associated with increased risk of liver allograft rejection

Amisha Wallia, Neehar D. Parikh, Mark E. Molitch, Eileen Mahler, Lu Tian, Jie Jenny Huang, Josh Levitsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Background. Intensive glycemic control has been shown to positively impact outcomes in an intensive care setting. Whether this practice is beneficial after liver transplantation (LT) is not known. Methods. A retrospective review of patients undergoing LT from February 2002 to July 2007 was conducted to analyze the association between perioperative hyperglycemia and outcomes after LT. Covariates included preexisting diabetes, mean glucose 3 months pre-LT, need for insulin drip post-LT, mean total glucose during the post-LT hospitalization, age, sex, type of transplant, and model for end-stage liver disease score. Outcomes within 1 year of LT included rejection, infection, rehospitalization, prolonged ventilation, and patient/graft survival. Results. One hundred thirteen LT and 31 liver-kidney recipients were included. By multivariate logistic regression adjusting for covariates, the rejection rate was significantly lower for patients with postoperative glucose levels less than 200 mg/dL (n=114) vs. more than 200 mg/dL (n=30) (odds ratio: 0.055; 95% confidence interval: 0.0154-0.200; P<0.001). The need for prolonged ventilation was more common in patients with glucose less than 200 vs. more than 200 mg/dL (odds ratio: 4.30; 95% confidence interval: 1.284-14.388; P=0.018). Although other outcomes, infection, rehospitalization, patient/graft survival, were not different among the glucose control groups, rejection was associated with increased rehospitalizations and infections. Conclusion. Our data demonstrate an association between the immediate posttransplant glycemic control and the development of subsequent rejection. Prospective trials investigating the effects of perioperative glycemic control on outcomes and morbidity after LT are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 27 2010


  • Hyperglycemia
  • Liver transplantation
  • Rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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