Metabolic therapy for the diabetic patients with ischaemic heart disease

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Diabetic patients with ischaemic heart disease have a greater amount of myocardial ischaemia, often silent, and an increased incidence of heart failure compared to nondiabetic patients. This is the result of altered myocardial metabolism and accelerated atherogenesis with involvement of peripheral coronary segments causing chronic hypoperfusion and diffuse hybernation. In patients with diabetes mellitus and myocardial ischaemia, the metabolic changes occurring as a consequence of the mismatch between blood supply and cardiac metabolic requirements are heightened by the diabetic metabolic changes. An important metabolic alteration of diabetes is the increase in free fatty acid concentrations and increased muscular and myocardial free fatty acid uptake and oxidation. This increased uptake and utilization of free fatty acid during stress and ischaemia is responsible for the increased susceptibility of the diabetic heart to myocardial ischaemia and to a greater decrease of myocardial performance for a given amount of ischaemia compared to nondiabetic hearts. Given the metabolic alterations of the diabetic heart at rest and during episodes of myocardial ischaemia, a therapeutic approach aimed at an improvement of cardiac metabolism through manipulations of the utilization of metabolic substrates should result in an improvement of myocardial ischaemia and of left ventricular function. Modulation of myocardial free fatty acid metabolism should be the key target for metabolic interventions in patients with coronary artery disease with and without diabetes. In diabetic patients, the effects of modulation of free fatty acid metabolism should be even greater than those observed in patients without diabetes. The inhibition of FFA oxidation with trimetazidine improves cardiac metabolism at rest, decreases cardiac ischaemia and therefore prevents the decline of left ventricular function due to chronic hypoperfusion and repetitive episodes of myocardial ischaemia. Because of its effect on cardiac metabolism at rest, its effects on myocardial ischaemia and left ventricular function trimetazidine should always be considered for the treatment of diabetic patients with ischaemic heart disease with or without left ventricular dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCoronary Artery Disease
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Angina
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Disease
  • Heart
  • Metabolism
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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