Pathophysiology and Treatment of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 25;23(7):3587. doi: 10.3390/ijms23073587.


There is a close relationship between diabetes mellitus and heart failure, and diabetes is an independent risk factor for heart failure. Diabetes and heart failure are linked by not only the complication of ischemic heart disease, but also by metabolic disorders such as glucose toxicity and lipotoxicity based on insulin resistance. Cardiac dysfunction in the absence of coronary artery disease, hypertension, and valvular disease is called diabetic cardiomyopathy. Diabetes-induced hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia lead to capillary damage, myocardial fibrosis, and myocardial hypertrophy with mitochondrial dysfunction. Lipotoxicity with extensive fat deposits or lipid droplets is observed on cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, increased oxidative stress and inflammation cause cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy. Treatment with a sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor is currently one of the most effective treatments for heart failure associated with diabetes. However, an effective treatment for lipotoxicity of the myocardium has not yet been established, and the establishment of an effective treatment is needed in the future. This review provides an overview of heart failure in diabetic patients for the clinical practice of clinicians.

Keywords: SGLT2 inhibitor; heart failure; lipotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus* / metabolism
  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathies* / etiology
  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathies* / metabolism
  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathies* / therapy
  • Heart Failure* / complications
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance* / physiology
  • Myocardium / metabolism