Published online Feb 15, 2014. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v5.i1.17
Revised: December 2, 2013
Accepted: December 12, 2013
Published online: February 15, 2014
Core tip: Cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) is a complication of diabetes mellitus that is often under-diagnosed but can lead to severe morbidity and mortality, due to the associated cardiovascular burden. New evidence has emerged surrounding its complex pathways, but its full pathogenesis is yet to be understood. CAN manifests in a spectrum of subclinical and clinical presentations, ranging from resting tachycardia to cardiomyopathy. Heart rate variability and scintigraphy have enabled the diagnosis at a subclinical stage, thus providing the opportunity for better prevention and treatment. However, no definite therapeutic approaches have been adopted to date, emphasizing the need for newer targeted treatments.