Echocardiographic evaluation of patients cured of childhood cancer: A single center study of 117 subjects who received anthracyclines

Grazia Bossi, Luca Lanzarini, Maria Luisa Laudisa, Catherine Klersy, Arturo Raisaro, Maurizio Aric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The risk of cardiomyopathy following exposure to anthracycline in asymptomatic long-term survivors of childhood cancer is still hard to predict and precisely quantify. To identify the impact of different cumulative doses, even within a non-high dose range, and the echocardiographic parameters suitable for evaluating cardiac function, we studied diastolic and systolic echocardiographic parameters in a cohort of patients followed in a single center. Procedure. A total of 117 subjects were studied at a median time of 7 years after treatment completion. A complete M-mode, two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiographic study was obtained at rest in all patients according to the standard recommendations of the American Society of Echocardiography. Results. Ninety-nine patients (85%) had completely normal cardiac function, while 18 had abnormal echocardiographic findings: 12 had one abnormal value, 5 had two, and 1 had three abnormal values. All the changes were in left ventricular dimensions, wall thickness or indices of systolic function; no alterations in left ventricular diastolic function parameters were found. None of the echocardiographic parameters correlated significantly with the cumulative dose of anthracyclines administered either at univariate analysis or after adjusting for sex, body surface area or considered risk factors. Conclusions. Subjects exposed to a median cumulative dose of 214 mg/m2 had no echographic abnormalities a median of 7 years later. We did not find any correlation between cumulative anthracycline dose and the echocardiographic parameters tested. We now offer echocardiographic follow-up to patients with mildly reduced fractional shortening and/or ejection fraction to rule out late onset dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Anthracyclines
  • Childhood cancer
  • Late cardiotoxicity
  • Leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Echocardiographic evaluation of patients cured of childhood cancer: A single center study of 117 subjects who received anthracyclines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this