Diastolic dysfunction and diabetic cardiomyopathy: evaluation by Doppler echocardiography

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1548-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2006.07.033. Epub 2006 Sep 26.


Doppler echocardiography has largely contributed to show the existence of a distinct diabetic cardiomyopathy. Several studies have pointed out the evidence of left ventricular (LV) remodeling and hypertrophy in alterations of both midwall systolic mechanics and LV diastolic filling in diabetes mellitus (DM), independent of the coexistence of concomitant risk factors. Further progress will be provided by new ultrasound technologies in this clinical setting. The combination of pulsed tissue Doppler study of mitral annulus with transmitral inflow may be clinically valuable for obtaining information about left ventricular filling pressure (LVFP) and unmasking Doppler inflow pseudonormal pattern, a hinge point for the progression toward advanced heart failure. In the absence of epicardial coronary artery stenosis, the ultrasound assessment of coronary flow reserve (CFR) may identify the dysfunction of coronary microcirculation, in relation with glycemic levels, insulin resistance, sympathetic overdrive, endothelial dysfunction, abnormalities of the angiotensin-renin system, and LV remodeling/hypertrophy. Diastolic dysfunction and impairment of CFR may be associated in DM, with a likely common origin. In this view, a comprehensive transthoracic Doppler evaluation of diabetic patients should include the assessment of diastolic function and estimation of LVFP by tissue Doppler, and coronary microvascular function by CFR test. Additional analysis of regional wall motion during a stress test would be required in patients with suspected coronary artery disease, another cause of diastolic dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Circulation
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diastole
  • Echocardiography, Doppler*
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology*