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Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2015 Feb 13;14:23. doi: 10.1186/s12933-015-0187-2.

Cardiac structure and function are altered in type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and associate with glycemic control.



Both non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and Type 2 diabetes increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The metabolic processes underlying NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes are part of an integrated mechanism but little is known about how these conditions may differentially affect the heart. We compared the impact of NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes on cardiac structure, function and metabolism.


19 adults with Type 2 diabetes (62 ± 8 years), 19 adults with NAFLD (54 ± 15 years) and 19 healthy controls (56 ± 14 years) underwent assessment of cardiac structure, function and metabolism using high resolution magnetic resonance imaging, tagging and spectroscopy at 3.0 T.


Adults with NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes demonstrate concentric remodelling with an elevated eccentricity ratio compared to controls (1.05 ± 0.3 vs. 1.12 ± 0.2 vs. 0.89 ± 0.2 g/ml; p < 0.05). Despite this, only the Type 2 diabetes group demonstrate significant systolic and diastolic dysfunction evidenced by a reduced stroke index (31 ± 7vs. controls, 38 ± 10, p < 0.05 ml/m2) and reduced E/A (0.9 ± 0.4 vs. controls, 1.9 ± 1.4, p < 0.05) respectively. The torsion to shortening ratio was higher in Type 2 diabetes compared to NAFLD (0.58 ± 0.16 vs. 0.44 ± 0.13; p < 0.05). Significant associations were observed between fasting blood glucose/HbA1c and diastolic parameters as well as the torsion to shortening ratio (all p < 0.05). Phosphocreatine/adenosine triphosphate ratio was not altered in NAFLD or Type 2 diabetes compared to controls.


Changes in cardiac structure are evident in adults with Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD without overt cardiac disease and without changes in cardiac energy metabolism. Only the Type 2 diabetes group display diastolic and subendocardial dysfunction and glycemic control may be a key mediator of these cardiac changes. Therapies should be explored to target these preclinical cardiac changes to modify cardiovascular risk associated with Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD.

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