Association between cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy and left ventricular dysfunction: DCCT/EDIC study (diabetes control and complications trial/epidemiology of diabetes interventions and complications)

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American College of Cardiology








cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy; left ventricle hypertrophy; myocardial dysfunction; type 1 diabetes


Objectives: The goal of these studies was to determine the association between cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) and indices of left ventricle (LV) structure and function in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) in the DCCT/EDIC (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial /Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications) study. Background: The pathophysiology of LV dysfunction in T1DM remains unclear, especially when the LV ejection fraction (EF) is preserved. Whether CAN is associated with LV dysfunction is unclear. Methods: Indices of LV structure and function were obtained by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI). CAN was assessed by cardiovascular reflex testing (R-R response to paced breathing, Valsalva ratio, and blood pressure response to standing). Analyses were performed in 966 DCCT/EDIC participants with valid CMRI and CAN data (mean age 51 years, 52% men, mean diabetes duration 29 years, and mean glycosylated hemoglobin 7.9%). Results: Systolic function (EF, end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes, stroke volumes) was not different in 371 subjects with CAN compared with 595 subjects without CAN. In multiple-adjusted analyses, participants with either abnormal R-R variation or a composite of abnormal R-R variation, abnormal Valsalva ratio, and postural blood pressure changes had significantly higher LV mass, mass-to-volume-ratio, and cardiac output compared with those with normal tests (p < 0.0001 for all). After further adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, subjects with abnormal R-R variation had higher LV mass and cardiac output compared with those with a normal R-R variation (p < 0.05). Conclusions: In this large cohort of patients with T1DM, CAN is associated with increased LV mass and concentric remodeling as assessed by CMRI independent of age, sex, and other factors. (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial [DCCT]; NCT00360815) (Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications [EDIC]; NCT00360893) © 2013 American College of Cardiology Foundation.