To elucidate whether impairment of the myocardial free fatty acid (FFA)metabolism and small vessel abnormalities in the myocardium are etiologic or contributory factors of myocardial dysfunction in patients with NIDDM without any significant coronary artery disease


We performed myocardial imaging with 123I-labeled β-methyl-p-iodophenyl pentadecanoic acid (BMIPP), a branched analog of FFA, and dipyridamole-infusion 201 thallium scintigraphy (Dip) in nine patients who demonstrated left ventricular wall motion abnormalities without any significant coronary artery disease and in fifteen control cases. As an index of myocardial FFA metabolism, the heart-to-mediastinum count ratio (H/M) of BMIPP was calculated from the mean count in the regions of interest at the heart and the upper mediastinum


Nine patients with reduced wall motion documented by left ventriculography (LVG) (hypokinetic group) demonstrated significantly lower BMIPP uptake (2.1 ± 0.2, mean ± SD) than fifteen patients with normal wall motion (normokinetic group) (2.3 ± 0.2, P <0.05). Regional ventricular wall motion observed by LVG, regional BMIPP uptake, and regional redistribution phenomenon (RD) were evaluated for five regions of the left ventricle: anterior, septal, apical, lateral, and inferoposterior regions. Wall motion was abnormal in 24 out of 120 regions. Regional BMIPP uptake was reduced in 47 regions. RD in Dip was observed in 23 regions. In regional analysis, the existence of defect in the BMIPP image showed significant correlation with wall motion abnormality (P <0.01), but there was no significant relationship between the RD in Dip and regional wall motion abnormality (P = 0.16). Myocardial biopsy specimens obtained from the right ventricle of 20 patients showed no pathologic changes, with the exception of two patients.


Our findings suggest that impairment of myocardial FFA metabolism rather than small vessel abnormalities in the myocardium is responsible for modest left ventricular dysfunction in patients with diabetes

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