PM_ERT Cardiac Contractile Function and Glucose Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women During Exercise: Effects of Estrogen

This project was led by: Marlowe Eldridge MD

This project was funded by: WISCONSIN ALUMNI RESEARCH FOUNDATION

The term of this project was: March 2017 to June 2018

The number of subjects scanned during this project was: 40

The actions of female sex hormones provide a cardioprotective effect in premenopausal women compared to age-matched men. Estrogen levels decline after menopause and the risk for cardiovascular disease in women rises, and approaches or in some cases exceeds that of age-matched men. Estrogen replacement may ameliorate cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal women. Estrogen has been demonstrated to attenuate cardiac contractile dysfunction in animal models of cardiovascular disease. Importantly, estrogen plays a role in regulating cardiac energy metabolism.
In subclinical conditions, symptoms of cardiac dysfunction only become symptomatic when the heart is challenged. Physical exercise is a robust, yet safe, physiological stressor on the myocardium which may better elucidate cardiac metabolic and functional derangements compared to other clinical modalities of stress testing. Technological advances in clinical cardiac imaging allow us to perform this study using a newly installed PET/MR scanner to simultaneously measure cardiac metabolism and contractile function. Lastly, we will employ a novel MR compatible exercise machine that will allow us to perform measures of cardiac glucose metabolism and contractile function during exercise.