OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate if systolic myocardial function is reduced in all patients with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) or only in patients with albuminuria. BACKGROUND: Heart failure is a common cause of mortality in T1DM, and a specific diabetic cardiomyopathy has been suggested. It is not known whether myocardial dysfunction is a feature of T1DM per se or primarily associated with diabetes with albuminuria. METHODS: This cross-sectional study compared 1,065 T1DM patients without known heart disease from the outpatient clinic at the Steno Diabetes Center with 198 healthy control subjects. Conventional echocardiography and global longitudinal strain (GLS) by 2-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography was performed and analyzed in relation to normoalbuminuria (n = 739), microalbuminuria (n = 223), and macroalbuminuria (n = 103). Data were analyzed in univariable and multivariable linear regression models adjusted for confounding factors including conventional risk factors, medication, and systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Investigators were blinded to degree of albuminuria. RESULTS: Mean age was 49.5 years, 52% men, mean glycated hemoglobin 8.2% (66 mmol/mol), mean body mass index 25.5 kg/m(2), and mean diabetes duration 26.1 years. In unadjusted analyses, GLS differed significantly between T1DM patients and control subjects (p = 0.02). When stratified by degrees of albuminuria, the difference in GLS compared with control subjects was -18.8 ± 2.5% versus -18.5 ± 2.5% for normoalbuminuria (p = 0.28), versus -17.9 ± 2.7% for microalbuminuria (p = 0.001), and versus -17.4 ± 2.9% for macroalbuminuria (p < 0.001). Multivariable analyses, including clinical characteristics, diastolic and systolic dysfunction, and use of medication, did not change this relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Systolic function assessed by GLS was reduced in T1DM compared with control subjects. This difference, however, was driven solely by decreased GLS in T1DM patients with albuminuria. T1DM patients with normoalbuminuria have systolic myocardial function similar to healthy control subjects. These findings do not support the presence of specific diabetic cardiomyopathy without albuminuria.
J a C C: Cardiovascular Imaging, 2015, Vol 8, Issue 4, p. 400-10