Research Article

Diabetic cardiomyopathy: the preclinical phase.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 04 June 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1444
  1. B I Seneviratne


    Left ventricular function was assessed by measuring sytolic time intervals in insulin-requiring diabetics with and without significant microangiopathy. The results were compared with those in normal controls. Significant microangiopathy was defined as proteinuria over 3 g/24 h or proliferative retinopathy. Left ventricular function was also assessed one and a half years later by echocardiography in four patients with microangiopathy. Patients with angina, previous myocardial infarction, hypertension, and alcoholism were excluded. All had normal electrocardiograms and chest radiographs. Diabetics with microangiopathy had impaired left ventricular function, whereas those with uncomplicated diabetes had normal function. This finding supports the existence of a specific diabetic cardiomyopathy due to microangiopathy rather than the metabolic defect. The association of microangiopathy and impaired left ventricular function may explain the high immediate mortality and the high incidence of cardiogenic shock and congestive heart failure after myocardial infarction in diabetics.