Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 407–414 | Cite as

Rosiglitazone influences adipose tissue distribution without deleterious impact on heart rate variability in coronary heart disease patients with type 2 diabetes

  • Audrey Grenier
  • Patrice Brassard
  • Olivier F. Bertrand
  • Jean-Pierre Després
  • Olivier Costerousse
  • Natalie Alméras
  • et Paul Poirier
Research Article



Obesity is associated with decreased heart rate variability (HRV). Rosiglitazone, a PPARγ agonist, is generally associated with increases in body mass.


To assess whether the gain in body mass and adiposity expected from rosiglitazone treatment has an influence on HRV in patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.


One hundred and twenty-five patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease aged between 40 and 75 years were studied. Anthropometric measurements: (1) body mass index (BMI), (2) waist circumference (WC), (3) abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan, and HRV (using a 24 h Holter) were measured at baseline and after 12 months of treatment. Patients were randomized to rosiglitazone or placebo regimen.


In the rosiglitazone vs. placebo group, there were significant increases in body mass [3.5 (2.6;4.4); mean (95 % CI) vs. 0.2 (−0.4;0.8)] kg), BMI [1.3 (1.0;1.6) vs. 0.1 (−0.1;0.3) kg/m2], WC [2.1 (0.9;3.3) vs. 0.4 (−0.4;1.2) cm, all p ≤ 0.001] and subcutaneous adipose tissue [253 (187;319) vs. 6 (−24;36) cm3, p ≤ 0.001] without statistically significant changes in visceral adipose tissue [−22 (−91;47) vs. 57 (43;71) cm3, p = 0.546], respectively. There was no change in HRV in either group after 12 months. There were no correlations between changes in HRV variables and fat distribution.


Our results suggest that changes in adiposity indices observed after 12 months of rosiglitazone therapy have no deleterious influence on HRV in patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.


Subcutaneous fat Thiazolidinediones Body fat distribution Autonomic nervous system Heart rate 



Heart rate variability


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma


Body mass index


Waist circumference


Computed tomography


Cardiovascular disease


Visceral adipose tissue


Subcutaneous adipose tissue


Sympathetic nervous system


Parasympathetic nervous system


Type 2 diabetes




VeIn Coronary aTherOsclerosis and Rosiglitazone after bypass surgerY


Coronary artery bypass graft surgery


Glycated hemoglobin


New York Heart Association


Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


C-reactive protein


Free fatty acids


Tumor necrosis factor α


Interleukine 6


Standard deviation of all normal-to-normal (NN) interval


Standard deviation of the averages of NN intervals in all 5 min segments of the entire recording


Square root of the mean of the squared differences between adjacent NN intervals


Number of pairs of adjacent NN intervals differing by more than 50 ms in the entire recording


NN50 divided by the total number or all NN intervals


Very low frequencies


Low frequencies


High frequencies


Confidence interval of 95 %




Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance


Angiotensin-converting enzyme



VICTORY was designed and executed as an investigator-initiated trial and supported by an unrestricted grant from GlaxoSmithKline. This clinical study have been approved by the ethics committee of Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec. The authors thank the staff and the patients from VICTORY trial for their important contribution. Dr. JP Després is the scientific director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk. Dr. P Poirier is a clinician-research scholar from the Fonds de la Recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQS). Dr. P Brassard is a Junior 1 research scholar from the FRQS.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no relevant conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Audrey Grenier
    • 1
    • 3
  • Patrice Brassard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olivier F. Bertrand
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Després
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olivier Costerousse
    • 1
  • Natalie Alméras
    • 1
  • et Paul Poirier
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de QuébecQuebec CityCanada
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of MedicineLaval UniversityQuebec CityCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of pharmacyLaval UniversityQuebec CityCanada

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