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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-68

Assessment of anthracycline-induced long-term cardiotoxicity in patients with hematological malignancies

1 Lecturer and Specialist in Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq
2 Clinical Hematologist, Department of Medecine, Al-Imamein Al-Kadhimein Medical Ciy, Hematology/Oncology Unit, Baghdad, Iraq
3 Consultant Hematologist, Medical City Complex, Bone Marrow Transplant Center, Baghdad, Iraq
4 Consultant Hematologist, Al-Imamein Al-Kadhimein Medical City, Hematology/Oncology Unit, Baghdad, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tareq Abdullah Saleh
Consultant Hematologist, Medical City Complex, Bone Marrow Transplant Center, Baghdad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijh.ijh_4_19

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BACKGROUND: Anthracyclines are antibiotic antineoplastic drugs used in the treatment of various hematological and solid malignancies. They are well-known for their cardiotoxic side effects which are related to their cumulative dosages. Many investigations are used to detect such cardiotoxicity, the gold standard of which is the endomyocardial biopsy that has a limited use because it is an invasive procedure. The aims of this study were to explore the cardiotoxicity induced by anthracyclines in patients with hematological malignancies by using electrocardiography (ECG) and echocardiography and to determine relationship between the detected changes in ECG and echocardiography, with some demographic and clinical variables. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study of fifty patients was recruited at Al-Imamein Al-Kadhemein Medical City from March 2014 to January 2015. ECG and echocardiography were done to the patients to study several parameters such as ejection fraction (EF), diastolic dysfunction, QRS voltage, QRS duration, and corrected QT (QTc) both at baseline and reassessment. Reassessment was done after completing induction for leukemia patients and at mid-term reassessment for lymphoma patients. RESULTS: ECG showed reduction in QRS voltage, increase in QRS duration, and increase in QTc, all of which showed statistical significance and may reflect the effect on the depolarization and repolarization on the myocardium. The echo study showed the development of systolic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction (EF <55%) in 12% of patients and a statistically significant reduction in the mean of EF of the study group. It also showed statistically significant development of new diastolic dysfunction. Statistically significant association between reduction of QRS voltage (>30% from baseline) with the development of LV dysfunction was also found. CONCLUSIONS: Significant changes in QRS voltage, QRS duration, QTc, as well as the occurrence of LV systolic dysfunction and diastolic dysfunction were noted. The mean cumulative dose at which LV systolic dysfunction occurred was about 250 mg/m2.

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