Ketone body levels and its associations with cardiac markers following an acute myocardial infarction: a post hoc analysis of the EMMY trial

Faisal Aziz, Norbert J. Tripolt, Peter N. Pferschy, Hubert Scharnagl, Mahmoud Abdellatif, Abderrahim Oulhaj, Martin Benedikt, Ewald Kolesnik, Dirk von Lewinski, Harald Sourij

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) have been suggested to exert cardioprotective effects in patients with heart failure, possibly by improving the metabolism of ketone bodies in the myocardium. Methods: This post hoc analysis of the EMMY trial investigated the changes in serum β-hydroxybutyrate (3-βOHB) levels after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in response to 26-week of Empagliflozin therapy compared to the usual post-MI treatment. In addition, the association of baseline and repeated measurements of 3-βOHB with cardiac parameters and the interaction effects of Empagliflozin were investigated. Cardiac parameters included N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left ventricle end-systolic volume (LVESV), left ventricle end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), and left ventricular filling pressure (E/é ratio). Results: The mean 3-βOHB levels increased from baseline (46.2 ± 3.0 vs. 51.7 ± 2.7) to 6 weeks (48.8 ± 2.2 vs. 42.0 ± 2.3) and 26 weeks (49.3 ± 2.2 vs. 35.8 ± 1.9) in the Empagliflozin group compared to a consistent decline in placebo over 26 weeks (pinteraction < 0.001). Baseline and longitudinal measurements of 3-βOHB were not significantly associated with NT-proBNP and E/é ratio. Baseline 3-βOHB value was negatively associated with LVEF (coefficient: − 0.464, 95%CI − 0.863;− 0.065, p = 0.023), while an increase in its levels over time was positively associated with LVEF (0.595, 0.156;1.035, 0.008). The baseline 3-βOHB was positively associated with LVESV (1.409, 0.186;2.632, 0.024) and LVEDV (0.640, − 1.170;− 2.449, 0.488), while an increase in its levels over time was negatively associated with these cardiac parameters (LVESV: − 2.099, − 3.443;− 0.755, 0.002; LVEDV: − 2.406, − 4.341;− 0.472, 0.015). Empagliflozin therapy appears to modify the association between 3-βOHB, LVEF (pinteraction = 0.090), LVESV (pinteraction = 0.134), and LVEDV (pinteraction = 0.168), particularly at 26 weeks; however, the results were not statistically significant. Conclusion: This post hoc analysis showed that SGLT2i increased 3-βOHB levels after AMI compared to placebo. Higher baseline 3-βOHB levels were inversely associated with cardiac function at follow-up, whereas a sustained increase in 3-βOHB levels over time improved these markers. This highlights the importance of investigating ketone body metabolism in different post-MI phases. Although more pronounced effect of 3-βOHB on cardiac markers was observed in the SGLT2i group, further research is required to explore this interaction effect.

    Original languageBritish English
    Article number145
    JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Dec 2024


    • 3-βOHB
    • Beta-hydroxybutyrate
    • Clinical Trial
    • Empagliflozin
    • Ketone body
    • SGLT2 inhibitor


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