Speckle-Tracking Echocardiography for Cardioncological Evaluation in Bevacizumab-Treated Colorectal Cancer Patients

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Angiogenesis inhibitor Bevacizumab (BVZ) may lead to the development of adverse effects, including hypertension and cardiac ischemia. Whether assessment of changes in myocardial strain by two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (2D-STE) can be of value in detecting BVZ-mediated cardiotoxicity at an earlier stage is not known. We investigated whether 2D-STE can non-invasively detect early evidence of cardiotoxicity in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients treated with BVZ. Between January and June 2019, 25 consecutive patients (71.8 ± 7.5 year/old, 17 males) with mCRC were prospectively enrolled. Patients underwent physical examination, blood tests, and conventional 2D-transthoracic echocardiography implemented with 2D-STE analysis, at baseline and at 3 and 6 months following treatment with BVZ (15 mg/kg every 15 days) + 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid plus oxaliplatin (FOLFOX i.v.). At 6-month follow-up, we assessed occurrence of global longitudinal strain (GLS) impairment (> 15% decrease in GLS compared with baseline) as primary end-point and a new-onset systemic hypertension (secondary end-point). On average, GLS showed a progressive significant impairment after BVZ, from − 17.4 ± 3.2% at baseline to − 16 ± 2.9% (p = 0.003) at 6-month follow-up; > 15% decrease in GLS (primary end-point) was detected in 9 patients (36%). All other strain parameters remained unchanged. New-onset systemic hypertension (secondary end-point) was diagnosed in five patients (20%). No significant changes were observed in serial high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I measurements. No patient developed significant changes in LV size or LV ejection fraction; no case of clinically symptomatic HF was observed during BVZ-treatment. Measurement of GLS by 2D-STE analysis can effectively detect BVZ-mediated cardiotoxicity at an early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-592
Number of pages12
JournalCardiovascular Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Bevacizumab
  • Cardio-oncology
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Speckle-tracking echocardiography
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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