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Open Access

The possible link between insulin resistance and increased cardiovascular mortality

  • Barna Peitl1Email author,
  • László P Drimba1,
  • Róbert Döbrönte2,
  • József Németh1,
  • Réka Zs Sári1,
  • Csaba Pankucsi1,
  • Angelika Varga1,
  • László Fésüs3,
  • József Tőzsér3 and
  • Zoltán Szilvássy1
BMC Pharmacology20077(Suppl 2):A48

Published: 14 November 2007


CatheterInsulin ResistanceIschemic Heart DiseaseVentricular TachycardiaCardiovascular Mortality


Hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance are considered as independent risk factors of ischemic heart disease. We sought whether hyperinsulinaemia per se is of significant influence on cardiac arrhythmia generation in conscious rabbits.


Chronically instrumented conscious rabbits were equipped with a right ventricular electrode catheter for pacing and recording the intracavitary electrogram as well as with arterial and venous catheters for blood sampling, blood pressure monitoring and for insulin and glucose infusions, respectively. Hyperinsulinaemia was produced by 2-step hyperinsulinaemic (35.7 ± 7.4 and 103.2 ± 10.5 μU/ml) euglycaemic (5.5 ± 0.5 μU/ml) glucose clamping. Programmed electrical stimulation (PES) was applied for ventricular effective refractory period (VERP) determination and arrhythmia generation.


The VERP shortened from 110.4 ± 3.7 to 104.8 ± 2.9 ms, (p < 0.05) and from 109.3 ± 2.9 to 101.4 ± 1.7 ms (p < 0.05) in animals with 35 and 103 μU/ml clamped hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemia, respectively. The incidence of ventricular premature beats, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia and sustained ventricular tachycardia induced by PES increased from control 11, 0, 0% to 24 (p < 0.05), 5, 0%; and 56, 44 (p < 0.001 for each), 0% in animals with 35 and 103 μU/ml clamped hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemia, respectively.


The results provide evidence for the "sui generis" proarrhythmic effect of hyperinsulinaemia in otherwise healthy rabbits. The results also suggest that this is underpinned by a hyperinsulinaemia-induced reduction of VERP.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Department of Anesthesiology and ICU, Petz Aladár County Hospital, Győr, Hungary
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Debrecen, Hungary


© Peitl et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.