Effects of weight loss on myocardial energetics and diastolic function in obesity

  • O. J. RiderEmail author
  • J. M. Francis
  • D. Tyler
  • J. Byrne
  • K. Clarke
  • S. Neubauer
Original Paper


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 31P-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.


Obesity Weight loss 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy Diastole 



The study was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust and by the Oxford Partnership Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre with funding from the Department of Health’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme. SN acknowledges support from the Oxford BHF Centre of Research Excellence.

Conflict of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. J. Rider
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. M. Francis
    • 1
  • D. Tyler
    • 2
  • J. Byrne
    • 3
  • K. Clarke
    • 2
  • S. Neubauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance ResearchUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Anatomy and GeneticsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of Upper Gastrointestinal SurgerySouthampton General HospitalSouthamptonUK

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