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A reduced myocardial phosphocreatine/adenosine triphosphate (PCr/ATP) ratio is linked to both diastolic dysfunction and heart failure. Although obesity is well known to cause diastolic dysfunction a link to impaired cardiac energetics has only recently been established. We assessed whether or not long-term weight loss in obesity, which is known to reduce mortality, is accompanied by both improved cardiac energetics and diastolic function. Normal weight (BMI 22 ± 2; n = 18) and obese subjects (BMI 34 ± 4; n = 13) underwent cine-MRI (1.5 Tesla) to determine left ventricular diastolic function using volume-time curve analysis, and (31)P-MR spectroscopy (3 Tesla) to assess cardiac energetics (PCr/ATP ratio). Obese subjects (n = 13) underwent repeat assessment after 1 year of supervised weight loss. Obesity, in the absence of identifiable cardiovascular risk factors, was associated with significantly impaired myocardial high energy phosphate metabolism (PCr/ATP ratio, normal; 2.03 ± 0.27 vs. obese; 1.58 ± 0.47, p = 0.002) and significantly lower peak diastolic filling rate (normal; 4.8 ± 0.8 vs. obese; 3.8 ± 0.7 EDV/s, p = 0.01). Weight loss (on average 9 kg, 55% excess weight) over 1 year resulted in a 24% increase in PCr/ATP ratio (p = 0.01) and an 18% improvement in peak diastolic filling rate (p = 0.01). Myocardial PCr/ATP ratio remained positively correlated with peak diastolic filling rate after weight loss (r = 0.63, p = 0.02). In obesity, weight loss improves impaired cardiac energetics and myocardial relaxation. Improved myocardial energetics appear to play a key role in diastolic functional recovery accompanying weight loss.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cardiovasc Imaging

Publication Date





1043 - 1050


Adenosine Triphosphate, Adiposity, Adult, Body Mass Index, Diastole, Energy Metabolism, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Middle Aged, Myocardium, Obesity, Phosphocreatine, Recovery of Function, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, Ventricular Function, Left, Weight Loss