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Mozhgan Dorkhan

Mozhgan Dorkhan

Specialist physician

Mozhgan Dorkhan

Effect of pioglitazone versus insulin glargine on cardiac size, function, and measures of fluid retention in patients with type 2 diabetes


  • Mozhgan Dorkhan
  • Magnus Dencker
  • Martin Stagmo
  • Leif Groop

Summary, in English

Background: Both insulin and thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are effective in the treatment of hyperglycaemia and amelioration of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes but have side effects including weight gain and fluid retention. The use of TZDs has been further hampered by the risk of adverse cardiovascular events including heart failure. The present study evaluated the effect of pioglitazone or insulin glargine on cardiac function and size as well as on surrogate markers of fluid retention such as weight, haemoglobin and natriuretic peptides. Methods: Thirty patients with inadequate glycaemic control on metformin and sulfonylurea were randomised to receive add-on therapy with insulin glargine or pioglitazone for 26 weeks. Echocardiographic data and blood samples were collected from the two groups before the start of the treatment and after 26 weeks. Left ventricular end-diastolic and left atrial end-systolic volumes were quantified, weight measured and blood samples analyzed. Results: After 26 weeks of treatment, the changes in HbAlc, weight and haemoglobin were similar between the two groups. HDL increased significantly in the pioglitazone group. While there was an increase in natriuretic peptides in the pioglitazone group (NT-proBNP 11.4 +/- 19.6 to 22.8 +/- 44.0, p = 0.046), the difference between the treatment groups was not significant. Left ventricular end-diastolic volume increased by 11% and left atrial end-systolic volume by 17% in the pioglitazone group (Both, p < 0.05, between treatment groups). There was a borderline significant increase in ejection fraction in the pioglitazone group. Conclusion: This randomised pilot-study showed that six-month treatment with pioglitazone induced significant increases in natriuretic peptides and alterations of cardiac size. These changes were not observed with insulin glargine, which also is known to induce fluid retention. Larger randomised trials are warranted to confirm these findings.


  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Clinical Physiology, Malmö
  • Cardiology Research Group

Publishing year





Cardiovascular Diabetology



Document type

Journal article


BioMed Central (BMC)


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging



Research group

  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Clinical Physiology, Malmö
  • Cardiology Research Group


  • ISSN: 1475-2840