Abnormal cardiovascular response to exercise in young asymptomatic diabetic patients with retinopathy

Alberto Margonato, Paolo Gerundini, Gabriele Vicedomini, Maria C. Gilardi, Guido Pozza, Ferruccio Fazio

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Heart rate, blood pressure, and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were measured by means of Au 195 m first-pass angiocardiography, during maximal supine bicycle exercise in 20 young asymptomatic patients with insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD) (10 retinopathic and 10 uncomplicated) and in 10 control subjects. Five patients with retinopathic IDD also had mild subclinical autonomic neuropathy. Exercise capacity was diminished, although not significantly, in patients with retinopathic IDD. Heart rate and LVEF were similar in all groups at rest and at submaximal exercise. At peak exercise patients with retinopathic IDD had significantly lower heart rate (134 ± 4 bpm) and LVEF (62.9 ± 3.7%) than those with uncomplicated IDD (158 ± 8 bpm and 76.6 ± 2.4%, respectively) and control subjects (152 ± 6 bpm and 73.5 ± 1.9%, respectively). LVEF increased vs baseline in all control subjects and patients with uncomplicated IDD, but in only three with retinopathic IDD. Leg muscle blood flow (MBF) was also evaluated at rest and during exercise by 133Xe washout. Exercise MBF was significantly lower in patients with retinopathic IDD (40.5 ± 2.23 ml × min-1 × 100 gm-1) than in control subjects (49.9 ± 1.87 ml × min-1 × 100 gm-1) and in those with uncomplicated IDD (49.0 ± 1.87 ml × min-1 × 100 gm-1). Diffuse microangiopathy, alone or in combination with neuropathy, might be responsible for the impairment of cardiovascular function in diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-560
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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