Diabetic cardiomyopathy

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1994 Feb;8(1):65-73. doi: 10.1007/BF00877091.


Diabetic cardiomyopathy as a distinct entity was first recognized by Rubler et al. in diabetics with congestive heart failure (CHF), who had no evidence of coronary atherosclerosis. The Framingham study showed a 2.4-fold increased incidence of CHF in diabetic men and a 5.1-fold increase in diabetic women over 18 years. Pathological studies show left ventricular hypertrophy and fibrosis with varying degrees of small vessel disease, the functional significance of which is uncertain. Hypertension was recognized as an important cofactor in the development of fatal congestive heart failure in diabetics. On cardiac catheterization, in patients symptomatic of heart failure, either congestive or restrictive patterns have been observed. In contrast, asymptomatic diabetics had decreased left ventricular compliance but normal systolic function on hemodynamic study. Noninvasive studies show alterations in systolic and especially diastolic function, particularly in diabetics with microvascular complications and/or coexistent hypertension. Using load-independent measures of contractility, however, systolic function was generally found to be normal in asymptomatic normotensive diabetics. Experimental studies have focused on the mildly diabetic dog and the severely diabetic rat. Decreased left ventricular compliance and increased interstitial connective tissue were observed in chronically diabetic dogs. In contrast, ventricular myocardium from diabetic rats exhibits a reversible decrease in the speed of contraction, prolongation of contraction, and a delay in relaxation. These mechanical changes are associated with a decreased myosin ATPase, a shift in myosin isoenzyme distribution, alterations in a variety of Ca2+ fluxes, and changes in responses to alpha- and beta-adrenergic and cholinergic stimulation. These biochemical changes may be secondary to alterations in carbohydrate, lipid, and adenine nucleotide metabolism in the diabetic heart.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / epidemiology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / etiology*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male