Background: Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In particular, type 1 diabetes compromises the cardiac function of individuals at a relatively early age due to the protracted course of abnormal glucose homeostasis. The functional abnormalities of diabetic myocardium have been attributed to the pathological changes of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Methods: In this study, we used high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate the left ventricular functional characteristics of streptozotocin treated diabetic Sprague-Dawley rats (8 weeks disease duration) in comparison with age/sex matched controls.
Results: Our analyses of EKG gated cardiac MRI scans of the left ventricle showed a 28% decrease in the end-diastolic volume and 10% increase in the end-systolic volume of diabetic hearts compared to controls. Mean stroke volume and ejection fraction in diabetic rats were decreased (48% and 28%, respectively) compared to controls. Further, dV/dt changes were suggestive of phase sensitive differences in left ventricular kinetics across the cardiac cycle between diabetic and control rats.
Conclusion: Thus, the MRI analyses of diabetic left ventricle suggest impairment of diastolic and systolic hemodynamics in this rat model of diabetic cardiomyopathy. Our studies also show that in vivo MRI could be used in the evaluation of cardiac dysfunction in this rat model of type 1 diabetes.