Impact of empagliflozin on right ventricular parameters and function among patients with type 2 diabetes

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Background: Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibition reduces cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and is associated with a reduction in left ventricular (LV) mass index. However, the impact on right ventricular (RV) remodeling is unknown. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to assess the impact of SGLT2 inhibition on RV parameters and function in T2DM and coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: In EMPA-HEART CardioLink-6, 97 patients with T2DM and CAD were randomly assigned to empagliflozin 10 mg (n = 49) once daily or placebo (n = 48). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was performed at baseline and after 6 months. RV mass index (RVMi), RV end-diastolic and end-systolic volume index (RVEDVi, RVESVi) and RV ejection fraction (RVEF) were assessed in blinded fashion. Results: At baseline, mean RVMi (± SD) (11.8 ± 2.4 g/m2), RVEF (53.5 ± 4.8%), RVEDVi (64.3 ± 13.2 mL/m2) and RVESVi (29.9 ± 6.9 mL/m2) were within normal limits and were similar between the empagliflozin and placebo groups. Over 6 months, there were no significant differences in RVMi (− 0.11 g/m2, [95% CI − 0.81 to 0.60], p = 0.76), RVEF (0.54%, [95% CI − 1.4 to 2.4], p = 0.58), RVEDVi (− 1.2 mL/m2, [95% CI − 4.1 to 1.7], p = 0.41) and RVESVi (− 0.81 mL/m2, [95% CI − 2.5 to 0.90], p = 0.35) in the empaglifozin group as compared with the placebo group. In both groups, there was no significant correlation between RVMi and LVMi changes from baseline to 6 months. Conclusions: In this post-hoc analysis, SGLT2 inhibition with empagliflozin had no impact on RVMi and RV volumes in patients with T2DM and CAD. The potentially differential effect of empagliflozin on the LV and RV warrants further investigation. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: Unique identifier: NCT02998970.




Sarak, B., Verma, S., David Mazer, C., Teoh, H., Quan, A., Gilbert, R. E., … Yan, A. T. (2021). Impact of empagliflozin on right ventricular parameters and function among patients with type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 20(1).

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