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Am J Cardiol. 2009 Jun 15;103(12):1721-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.02.025. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Effect of caloric restriction on myocardial fatty acid uptake, left ventricular mass, and cardiac work in obese adults.

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  • 1Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. antti.viljanen@utu.fi


Obesity is associated with increased fatty acid uptake in the myocardium, and this may have deleterious effects on cardiac function. The aim of this study was to evaluate how weight loss influences myocardial metabolism and cardiac work in obese adults. Thirty-four obese (mean body mass index 33.7 +/- 0.7 kg/m(2)) but otherwise healthy subjects consumed a very low calorie diet for 6 weeks. Cardiac substrate metabolism and work were measured before and after the diet. Myocardial fatty acid uptake was measured in 18 subjects using fluorine-18-fluoro-6-thia-heptadecanoic acid and positron emission tomography, and myocardial glucose uptake was measured in 16 subjects using fluorine-18-2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose. Myocardial structure and cardiac function were measured using magnetic resonance imaging. Consumption of the very low calorie diet decreased weight (-11.2 +/- 0.6 kg, p <0.0001). Myocardial fatty acid uptake decreased from 4.2 +/- 0.4 to 2.9 +/- 0.2 micromol/100 g/min (p <0.0001). Myocardial mass decreased by 7% (p <0.005), and cardiac work decreased by 26% (p <0.0001). Whole-body insulin sensitivity increased by 33% (p <0.01), but insulin-stimulated myocardial glucose uptake remained unchanged (p = 0.90). Myocardial triglyceride content decreased by 31% (n = 8, p = 0.076). In conclusion, weight reduction decreases myocardial fatty acid uptake in parallel with myocardial mass and cardiac work. These results show that the increased fatty acid uptake found in the hearts of obese patients can be reversed by weight loss.

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