Background: Patients with diabetic cardiomyopathy have an impaired myocardial glucose handling and distal distribution of coronary atherosclerosis. Trimetazidine, an anti-ischemic metabolic agent, improves myocardial glucose utilization though inhibition of fatty acid oxidation. Aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the metabolic effect of trimetazidine on left ventricular function in patients with diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Methods: 32 patients (24 males and 8 females, mean (SE) age = 67 +/- 6 years) with type 2 diabetes and ischemic cardiomyopathy were randomized to receive either trimetazidine (20 mg, t.d.s.) or placebo (t.d.s.) for six months in a randomized parallel study. Patients performed an echocardiogram at baseline and after 6 months.
Results: Demographic data were comparable between the two groups. After six month baseline left ventricular end-diastolic diameters increased from 62.4 +/- 1.7 to 63 +/- 2.1 mm in the placebo group, while decreased from 63.2 +/- 2.1 to 58 +/- 1.6 mm (p < 0.01 compared to baseline) in the trimetazidine group. Compared to baseline, left ventricular ejection fraction increased by 5.4 +/- 0.5% (p < 0.05) in the trimetazidine group while remained unchanged in the placebo group -2.4 +/- 1.1% (NS), p < 0.01 between groups. A significant improvement in wall motion score index and in the E/A wave ratio was detected in patients treated with trimetazidine, but not in those receiving placebo.
Conclusion: in diabetic patients with ischemic heart disease trimetazidine added to standard medical therapy has beneficial effect on left ventricular volumes and on left ventricular ejection fraction compared to placebo. This effect may be related to the effect of trimetazidine upon cardiac glucose utilization.