Cardiac responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia in nondiabetic and intensively treated type 1 diabetic patients

Raymond R. Russell, Deborah Chyun, Steven Song, Robert S. Sherwin, William V. Tamborlane, Forrester A. Lee, Michael A. Pfeifer, Frances Rife, Frans J.T. Wackers, Lawrence H. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insulin-induced hypoglycemia occurs commonly in intensively treated patients with type 1 diabetes, but the cardiovascular consequences of hypoglycemia in these patients are not known. We studied left ventricular systolic [left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)] and diastolic [peak filling rate (PFR)] function by equilibrium radionuclide angiography during insulin infusion (12 pmol·kg-1·min-1) under either hypoglycemic (∼2.8 mmol/l) or euglycemic (∼5 mmol/l) conditions in intensively treated patients with type 1 diabetes and healthy nondiabetic subjects (n = 9 for each). During hypoglycemic hyperinsulinemia, there were significant increases in LVEF (ΔLVEF = 11 ± 2%) and PFR [ΔPFR = 0.88 ± 0.18 end diastolic volume (EDV)/s] in diabetic subjects as well as in the nondiabetic group (ΔLVEF = 13 ± 2%; ΔPFR = 0.79 ± 0.17 EDV/s). The increases in LVEF and PFR were comparable overall but occurred earlier in the nondiabetic group. A blunted increase in plasma catecholamine, cortisol, and glucagon concentrations occurred in response to hypoglycemia in the diabetic subjects. During euglycemic hyperinsulinemia, LVEF also increased in both the diabetic (ΔLVEF = 7 ± 1%) and nondiabetic (ΔLVEF = 4 ± 2%) groups, but PFR increased only in the diabetic group. In the comparison of the responses to hypoglycemic and euglycemic hyperinsulinemia, only the nondiabetic group had greater augmentation of LVEF, PFR, and cardiac output in the hypoglycemic study (P < 0.05 for each). Thus intensively treated type 1 diabetic patients demonstrate delayed augmentation of ventricular function during moderate insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Although diabetic subjects have a more pronounced cardiac response to hyperinsulinemia per se than nondiabetic subjects, their response to hypoglycemia is blunted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1029-E1036
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 44-5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Diastolic function
  • Left ventricular ejection fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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