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Clin Cardiol. 1998 Dec;21(12):885-7.

Diabetic cardiomyopathy.

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Department of Cardiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook 11794-8171, USA.


Prior to 1972, the increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality that diabetics endure had been attributed to vascular disease. In 1972, Rubler et al. proposed the existence of a diabetic cardiomyopathy based on their expereince with four adult diabetic patients who suffered from congestive heart failure (CHF) in the absence of discernable coronary artery disease, valvular or congenital heart disease, hypertension, or alcoholism. Alternative explanations for CHF, such as anemia and vascular and renal disease in these four patients, gave rise to criticisms, but a wave of subsequent studies in the 1970s and 1980s provided credence to this new disease entity. This review of the studies done since 1972 appears to support the concept of a diabetic cardiomyopathy independent of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The exact mechanism is still questionable, and several mechanisms have been proposed including small and microvascular disease, autonomic dysfunction, metabolic derangements, and interstitial fibrosis. However, the weight of evidence leans toward the development of fibrosis, possibly caused by the accumulation of a peroxidase acid schiff (PAS)-positive glycoprotein, leading to myocardial hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction.

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