Cholesteryl ester transfer (CET) is accelerated in patients with IDDM treated with conventional (subcutaneous) insulin therapy (CIT) and a number of other disorders associated with premature cardiovascular disease. We have shown that in IDDM this disturbance is closely linked to iatrogenic hyperinsulinemia (HI), because it was reversed when insulin was administered by the intraportal (IP) route. In this study, we sought to determine whether HI after successful pancreas-kidney transplantation (PKT) has the same adverse effect on CET.
CET was measured by both mass and isotopic assays and compared in two groups of euglycemic non-insulin-requiring IDDM PKT patients with either systemically draining allografts and persistent HI or grafts with portal vein anastomoses that were normoinsulinemic (PK-P). A third group of eight nondiabetic kidney transplant (KT) patients receiving the same immunosuppressive drugs served as control subjects.
CET in pancreas-kidney transplantation subjects with systemic venous drainage (PK-S) was increased (P < 0.001) to the same level we have reported previously in IDDM patients receiving CIT and was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than in those subjects with PK-P. CET in the PK-P group did not differ from that of the KT control patients.
CET is affected by variations in systemic insulin levels in pancreas transplant patients with allografts that have differing venous drainage. Because high systemic insulin levels are linked to the activation of (ET, euglycemic HI IDDM pancreas allograft recipients may continue to be at high risk for macrovascular complications.