Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
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Insulin resistance is not associated with myocardial steatosis in women.

Diabetologia 2011 July
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Insulin resistance, an independent risk-factor for cardiovascular disease, precedes type 2 diabetes and is associated with ectopic lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle and liver. Recent evidence indicates that cardiac steatosis plays a central role in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, it is not known whether insulin resistance as such in the absence of type 2 diabetes is associated with heart steatosis and/or impaired function. We therefore assessed myocardial steatosis and myocardial function in a sample of women with normal insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: Magnetic resonance imaging and localised spectroscopy were used to measure left ventricular dynamic variables and myocardial lipid accumulation in interventricular septum of non-diabetic, age- and BMI-matched insulin-sensitive (n = 11, 47 ± 6 years, BMI 25 ± 2 kg/m(2); clamp-like index [CLIX] = 9.7 ± 0.7) and insulin-resistant (n = 10, 48 ± 5 years, 27 ± 4 kg/m(2); CLIX = 4.5 ± 0.4) women with normal glucose tolerance as well as of women with IGT (n = 6, 45 ± 5 years, 28 ± 6 kg/m(2); CLIX = 3.6 ± 1.1) and type 2 diabetes (n = 7, 52 ± 10 years, 27 ± 3 kg/m(2)).

RESULTS: Myocardial lipid content was increased in type 2 diabetic women only (insulin-sensitive 0.4 ± 0.2% [means ± SD]; insulin-resistant 0.4 ± 0.1%; IGT 0.5 ± 0.2%; type 2 diabetes 0.7 ± 0.3%; p < 0.05). In insulin-resistant and type 2 diabetic women, stroke volume was lower (-15% and -27%, respectively, vs insulin-sensitive) and heart rate was higher (11% and 14%, respectively, vs insulin-sensitive, p < 0.05). No other differences in systolic and diastolic function were observed between study groups.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: In contrast to liver and skeletal muscle, insulin resistance as such is not associated with increased myocardial lipid accumulation.

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