Diabetic cardiomyopathy is defined as ventricular dysfunction of the diabetic heart in the absence of coronary artery disease. With the use of both in vivo and ex vivo techniques to assess cardiac phenotype, reduced contractile performance can be observed in experiments with mouse models of both type 1 (insulin-deficient) and type 2 (insulin-resistant) diabetes. Both systolic dysfunction (reduced left ventricular pressures and decreased cardiac output) and diastolic dysfunction (impaired relaxation) is observed in diabetic hearts, along with enhanced susceptibility to ischemic injury. Metabolism is also altered in diabetic mouse hearts: glucose utilization is reduced and fatty acid utilization is increased. The use of genetically engineered mice has provided a powerful experimental approach to test mechanisms that may be responsible for the deleterious effects of diabetes on cardiac function.