β-Adrenergic Responsiveness in the Type 2 Diabetic Heart: Effects on Cardiac Reserve

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to determine the chronotopic and inotropic response of the type 2 diabetic heart to β-adrenergic stimulation.

Methods

Eight people with uncomplicated T2D and seven matched controls performed a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan and V˙O2peak test. Plasma catecholamines were determined at rest and during peak exercise. On a second visit, HR and left ventricular contractility were assessed using echocardiography during supine rest, parasympathetic blockade (atropine), and during incremental β-adrenergic stimulation (dobutamine).

Results

V˙O2peak and HR reserve were lower in T2D (P < 0.05) as expected. Both groups increased norepinephrine comparably (P = 0.23) during peak exercise; however, epinephrine increased less in the T2D group (P < 0.05). The dobutamine dose required to achieve 85% of age-predicted maximal HR was 36% higher in CON (P < 0.05). Resting HR was higher (P < 0.01) and stroke volume indexed to fat free mass was smaller (P < 0.05) in T2D. During dobutamine infusion the response (% change) in HR, end-diastolic volumeFFM, stroke volume, ejection fraction, and cardiac output were not different between the groups. However, HR was higher (P < 0.01) and end-diastolic volume indexed to fat free mass (P < 0.01), stroke volumeFFM (P < 0.01), ejection fraction (P < 0.05), and stroke work (P < 0.01) were lower in T2D.

Conclusions

Although the type 2 diabetic heart worked at smaller volumes, the HR and contractile response to β-adrenergic stimulation were unaffected by diabetes. The reduced cardiac reserve observed in uncomplicated T2D was not explained by impaired myocardial sympathetic responsiveness but may reflect changes in the loading conditions or function of the diabetic left ventricle.

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