Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circ Res. 2007 Oct 12;101(8):759-67.

Forgotten but not gone: the rediscovery of fatty heart, the most common unrecognized disease in America.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hypertension, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


Until 60 years ago, fatty heart was an accepted clinical entity. Since then, its very existence has been questioned, despite the fact that 2 of 3 Americans are now obese or overweight and obesity has been shown to be correlated with cardiac functional abnormalities. In 2000, a syndrome of "lipotoxic cardiomyopathy" resembling earlier pathologic descriptions of fatty human hearts was described in rodents, and fatty infiltration of cardiomyocytes was subsequently reported in patients with congestive failure. Now, magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been adapted to permit routine noninvasive screening for fatty heart. The use of this technique in human volunteers indicates that cardiomyocyte fat correlates well with body mass index and is elevated in uncomplicated obesity. It is more severe when glucose tolerance becomes abnormal or diabetes is present. It is associated with impaired diastolic filling, even in seemingly asymptomatic obese volunteers. Because fatty heart can be readily prevented by lifestyle modification and pharmacologic interventions that reduce caloric intake and increase fatty acid oxidation, it seems important to recognize its existence so as to intervene as early as possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center