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01-11-2018 | Cardiovascular outcomes | Review | Article

Direct cardiovascular impact of SGLT2 inhibitors: mechanisms and effects

Heart Failure Reviews

Authors: Abdullah Kaplan, Emna Abidi, Ahmed El-Yazbi, Ali Eid, George W. Booz, Fouad A. Zouein

Publisher: Springer US


Diabetes is a global epidemic and a leading cause of death with more than 422 million patients worldwide out of whom around 392 million alone suffer from type 2 diabetes (T2D). Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are novel and effective drugs in managing glycemia of T2D patients. These inhibitors gained recent clinical and basic research attention due to their clinically observed cardiovascular protective effects. Although interest in the study of various SGLT isoforms and the effect of their inhibition on cardiovascular function extends over the past 20 years, an explanation of the effects observed clinically based on available experimental data is not forthcoming. The remarkable reduction in cardiovascular (CV) mortality (38%), major CV events (14%), hospitalization for heart failure (35%), and death from any cause (32%) observed over a period of 2.6 years in patients with T2D and high CV risk in the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial involving the SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin (Empa) have raised the possibility that potential novel, more specific mechanisms of SGLT2 inhibition synergize with the known modest systemic improvements, such as glycemic, body weight, diuresis, and blood pressure control. Multiple studies investigated the direct impact of SGLT2i on the cardiovascular system with limited findings and the pathophysiological role of SGLTs in the heart. The direct impact of SGLT2i on cardiac homeostasis remains controversial, especially that SGLT1 isoform is the only form expressed in the capillaries and myocardium of human and rodent hearts. The direct impact of SGLT2i on the cardiovascular system along with potential lines of future research is summarized in this review.

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