Research Article

Diabetic cardiomyopathy? An echocardiographic study of young diabetics.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 18 February 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:404
  1. J E Sanderson,
  2. D J Brown,
  3. A Rivellese,
  4. E Kohner


    An echocardiographic study was carried out on 23 young diabetics, 19 of whom had retinopathy. Their diastolic function was analysed by comparing the timing and pattern of mitral valve opening with the pattern of left ventricular wall movement. Only six patients had all their values within the normal range. Fourteen patients had abnormalities similar to those seen in patients with cardiomyopathy; the close time relation between mitral valve movement and wall movement was lost and mitral valve opening delayed in eight patients. Three other patients had considerable outward wall movement before mitral valve opening, which is characteristic of ischaemic heart disease. Although these studies provide no definite evidence of a cause, the abnormalities found may reflect a subclinical diabetic cardiomyopathy due to small-vessel disease.