Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors for diabetes mellitus control after kidney transplantation: Review of the current evidence

Kanbay M., Demiray A., AFŞAR B., Karakus K. E. , Ortiz A., Hornum M., ...More

NEPHROLOGY, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/nep.13941
  • Journal Name: NEPHROLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: chronic kidney disease, diabetic kidney disease, kidney transplant, post-transplant diabetes mellitus, SGLT2 inhibitors, transplantation, URIC-ACID, SGLT2 INHIBITORS, RISK, HYPERTENSION, MECHANISMS, RECIPIENTS


Sodium-glucose cotransporter type 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are promising drugs to treat chronic kidney disease patients with or without diabetes mellitus (DM). Besides improving glycemic control, SGLT2i are cardioprotective and kidney protective and decrease bodyweight, serum uric acid, blood pressure, albuminuria and glomerular hyperfiltration. These effects may benefit graft function and survival in kidney transplant (KT) patients. In this review, we evaluate data on the efficacy and safety of SGLT2i for KT patients with DM. Eleven studies with 214 diabetic KT patients treated with SGLT2i have been reported. SGLT2i lowered haemoglobin A1c and bodyweight. While glomerular filtration rate may be reduced in the short-term, it remained similar to baseline after 3-12 months. In two studies, blood pressure decreased and remained unchanged in the others. There were no significant changes in urine protein to creatinine ratio. Regarding safety, 23 patients had urinary tract infections, 2 patients had a genital yeast infection, one had acute kidney injury, and one had mild hypoglycaemia. No cases of ketoacidosis or acute rejection were reported. In conclusion, the limited experience so far suggests that SGLT2i are safe in KT patients with DM, decrease bodyweight and improve glycemic control. However, some of the benefits observed in larger studies in the non-KT population have yet to be demonstrated in KT recipients, including preservation of kidney function, reduction in blood pressure and decreased proteinuria.