CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2009; 30(01): 9-13
DOI: 10.4103/0971-5851.56329

Doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in adult Indian patients on chemotherapy

Navin Khattry
Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Pankaj Malhotra
Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Anil Grover
Department of Cardiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Suresh K Sharma
Department of Radiotherapy, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Subhash Varma
Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
› Author Affiliations


Background:Doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity is widely known to occur at cumulative doses exceeding 450 mg/m2 . However, very few studies have reported incidence of cardiac dysfunction in patients on chemotherapy with lower cumulative doses. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study carried out so far that has reported the incidence of cardiac dysfunction in adult Indian patients receiving doxorubicin. This study was undertaken to determine the incidence of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity by serial resting echocardiography in patients on chemotherapy and identify risk factors associated with cardiotoxicity.Materials and Methods:Patients that were started on doxorubicin-based chemotherapy in the period from January 2000 to June 2001 and had completed at least 300 mg/m2cumulative dose were taken in the study. Electrocardiography, chest X-ray and echocardiography were done at baseline, at 300 mg/m2and at 450 mg/m2cumulative doses of doxorubicin. All patients were evaluated for the presence of the following risk factors:Age>70 years, female sex, preexisting cardiac disease, hypertension, chest wall irradiation, body mass index (BMI)< 20 kg/m2 , Karnofsky performance status, combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide and presence of liver disease. Subclinical cardiac dysfunction was defined as ejection fraction fall greater than 10% on follow-up echocardiography.Results:Thirty patients satisfied the criterion for being considered for evaluation. One (3%) patient developed congestive cardiac failure, while 8 (27%) patients developed subclinical cardiac dysfunction. Concomitant use of cyclophosphamide significantly increased the risk of cardiac dysfunction ( P=0.048), while low BMI (< 20 kg/m2 ) and preexisting cardiac disease showed a trend towards increased risk of cardiac dysfunction ( P=0.07 for both).Conclusion:Twenty-seven percent of the patients developed subclinical cardiac dysfunction in the cumulative dose range of 300-450 mg/m2 . This entails regular monitoring for cardiac dysfunction by echocardiography during treatment.

Publication History

Article published online:
19 November 2021

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