Post-transplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM) is a serious complication in renal transplant recipients. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. We determined the association of plasma BCAAs with PTDM and included adult renal transplant recipients (>= 18 y) with a functioning graft for >= 1 year in this cross-sectional cohort study with prospective follow-up. Plasma BCAAs were measured in 518 subjects using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We excluded subjects with a history of diabetes, leaving 368 non-diabetic renal transplant recipients eligible for analyses. Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to assess the association of BCAAs with the development of PTDM. Mean age was 51.1 +/- 13.6 y (53.6% men) and plasma BCAA was 377.6 +/- 82.5 mu M. During median follow-up of 5.3 (IQR, 4.2-6.0) y, 38 (9.8%) patients developed PTDM. BCAAs were associated with a higher risk of developing PTDM (HR: 1.43, 95% CI 1.08-1.89) per SD change (p = 0.01), independent of age and sex. Adjustment for other potential confounders did not significantly change this association, although adjustment for HbA1c eliminated it. The association was mediated to a considerable extent (53%) by HbA1c. The association was also modified by HbA1c; BCAAs were only associated with renal transplant recipients without prediabetes (HbA1c <5.7%). In conclusion, high concentrations of plasma BCAAs are associated with developing PTDM in renal transplant recipients. Alterations in BCAAs may represent an early predictive biomarker for PTDM.
- branched chain amino acids
- post-transplant diabetes mellitus
- renal transplant recipients
- METABOLITE PROFILES