Troglitazone is a thiazolidinedione under development for the treatment of NIDDM and potentially other insulin-resistant disease states. Treatment with troglitazone is associated with an improvement in hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin-mediated glucose disposal. No significant side effects have been observed in humans. Because of reported cardiac changes in animals treated with drugs of this class, this multicenter 48-week study was conducted to evaluate whether NIDDM patients treated with troglitazone develop any cardiac mass increase or functional impairment. A total of 154 NIDDM patients were randomized to receive troglitazone 800 mg q.d. or glyburide titrated to achieve glycemic control (≤20 mg b.i.d. or q.d.). Twodimensional echocardiography and pulsed Doppler were used to measure left ventricular mass index (LVMI), cardiac index (CI), and stroke volume index (SVI). All echocardiograms were performed at each center (baseline, 12, 24, 36, and 48 weeks), recorded on videotape, and forwarded to a blinded central echocardiographic interpreter for analysis. The results showed that LVMI of patients treated with troglitazone was not statistically or clinically different from baseline after 24 or 48 weeks. Statistically significant increases in SVI and CI and a statistically significant decrease in diastolic pressure and estimated peripheral resistance were observed in troglitazone-treated patients. These results were not sex-specific. Glycemic benefits of troglitazone treatment were observed as evidenced by long-term improvement of HbA1c and C-peptide levels. Furthermore, triglycerides were significantly lower, and HDL was significantly higher at weeks 24 and 48. In conclusion, NIDDM patients treated with troglitazone do not show any cardiac mass increase or cardiac function impairment. Conversely, patients on troglitazone benefited from enhanced cardiac output and stroke volume, possibly as a result of decreased peripheral resistance. Treatment with troglitazone appears to have a favorable impact on known cardiovascular risk factors and could potentially lower cardiovascular morbidity in NIDDM patients.

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