Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Chemotherapy cardiotoxicity

cardioprotective drugs and early identification of cardiac dysfunction

Di Lisi, Daniela; Leggio, Giuseppe; Vitale, Giuseppe; Arrotti, Salvatore; Iacona, Rosanna; Inciardi, Riccardo Maria; Nobile, Domenico; Bonura, Francesca; Novo, Giuseppina; Russo, Antonio; Novo, Salvatore

Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine: April 2016 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 270–275
doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000232
Original articles: Heart failure

Background Chemotherapy cardiotoxicity is an emerging problem and it is very important to prevent cardiac dysfunction caused by anticancer drugs. The aim of this study was to assess the alterations of the cardiac function induced by chemotherapy in a follow-up of 2 years and to evaluate the cardioprotective role of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) in the prevention of cardiac dysfunction.

Methods A prospective study was carried out using patients with breast cancer (85 women; median age 57 ± 12 years) and other inclusion and exclusion criteria. On the basis of treatment, patients were divided into six groups: fluorouracil-epirubicincyclophosphamide, FEC (group A); FEC and trastuzumab (B); trastuzumab (C); FEC and taxotere (D); FEC, paclitaxel and trastuzumab (E); and chemotherapy and cardioprotective drugs (F). Cardiological evaluation including electrocardiogram and conventional echocardiogram with tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) was carried out at T0 (before starting chemotherapy), T1 (after 6 months from the start of chemotherapy) and T2 (2 years after the end of chemotherapy).

Results Significant changes in the TDI parameters of systolic and diastolic function were observed at T1 and T2 in all patients. A significant reduction of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was observed only at T2. In the patients treated with ACEI (F), these changes were less significant than in other groups and they do not have significant changes in the indices of diastolic function.

Conclusion TDI is more sensitive than conventional echocardiogram in the early diagnosis of cardiac dysfunction and ACEIs seem to have an important role in the prevention of cardiotoxicity.

aDepartment of Biomedicine, Internal Medicine and Specialities (DIBIMIS), Division of Cardiology

bDivision of Oncology, University Hospital ‘P.Giaccone’, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

Correspondence to Giuseppe Leggio, MD, Department of Biomedicine, Internal Medicine and Specialities (DIBIMIS), Division of Cardiology, University Hospital ‘P.Giaccone’, University of Palermo, Palermo 90127, Italy. E-mail:

Received 30 January, 2014

Revised 22 September, 2014

Accepted 23 September, 2014

© 2016 Italian Federation of Cardiology. All rights reserved.