The diabetic heart: A review of the lifework of Sophie Maria Koltai

Sophie M. Koltai, Ersébet Kocsis, Ildikó Pósa, Pál Hadházy, György Jermendy, Gabor Pogátsa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)


It is well known that cardiovascular alterations are the principal causes of mortality in patients with diabetes. Premature and accelerated atherosclerosis cannot be the sole cause of diabetic heart disease because functional disorders develop both in experimental and in clinical diabetes before the onset of the detectable morphological changes of the vessel wall. Namely, altered adrenergic responses and prostaglandin metabolism and diminished vasodilatory ability can be seen in diabetic vessels. This leads to enhanced vasoconstriction, which - combined with increased sympathetic activity - may induce myocardial edema and an increase in myocardial stiffness, resulting in diminished heart function. Increased myocardial stiffness due to myocardial dehydration caused by hyperglycemic hyperosmolality can also result in impaired heart function. Thus, myocardial water content plays a key role in the development of diabetic heart dysfunction. Disturbances in the myocardial energy metabolism may also contribute to the diminished cardiac performance in the diabetic state. Some antidiabetic agents may also have deleterious cardiovascular effects. Whether the functional abnormalities observed in the reviewed studies lead to clinically manifest heart disease in diabetes may depend on the superimposition of the classical cardiovascular risk factors. Thus, adequate control of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and the possible concomitant hypertension may prevent the further impairment of heart function and the development of overt heart disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental and Clinical Cardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Altered adrenergic response
  • Diabetic cardiopathy
  • Diabetic miroangiopathy
  • Myocardial edema
  • Myocardial stiffness
  • Prostaglandin metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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