Antineoplastic-related cardiotoxicity, morphofunctional aspects in a murine model: Contribution of the new tool 2D-speckle tracking

Carmela Coppola, Gennaro Riccio, Antonio Barbieri, Maria Gaia Monti, Giovanna Piscopo, Domenica Rea, Claudio Arra, Carlo Maurea, Claudia De Lorenzo, Nicola Maurea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Considering that global left ventricular systolic radial strain is a sensitive technique for the early detection of left ventricular dysfunction due to antineoplastics and the analysis of segmental myocardial contractility, we evaluated this technique for early detection of trastuzumab-related cardiotoxicity by comparing it with cardiac structural damage. Methods: Groups of six mice were injected with trastuzumab or doxorubicin, used either as single agents or in combination. Cardiac function was evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography measurements before and after treatment for 2 or 7 days, by using a Vevo 2100 high-resolution imaging system. After echocardiography, mice were euthanized, and hearts were processed for histological evaluations, such as cardiac fibrosis, apoptosis, capillary density, and inflammatory response. Results: Trastuzumab-related cardiotoxicity was detected early by 2D strain imaging. Radial strain was reduced after 2 days in mice treated with trastuzumab alone (21.2%±8.0% vs 40.5%±4.8% sham; P,0.01). Similarly, trastuzumab was found to induce apoptosis, capillary density reduction, and inflammatory response in cardiac tissue after 2 days of treatment, in a fashion similar to doxorubicin. On the contrary, fractional shortening reduction and cardiac fibrosis were observed only after 7 days of trastuzumab treatment, in contrast to doxorubicin treatment which induced early fibrosis and fractional shortening reduction. Conclusion: The reduction of left ventricular systolic strain after 2 days of trastuzumab treat­ment may indicate early myocardial functional damage before the reduction in left ventricular ejection fraction and this early dysfunction is well correlated with structural myocardial damage, such as apoptosis and inflammatory response. Fractional shortening reduction after 7 days of trastuzumab treatment is related to fibrosis in cardiac tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6785-6794
Number of pages10
JournalOncoTargets and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Doxorubicin
  • ErbB2/Her2
  • Trastuzumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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