Monitoring chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity: role of cardiac nuclear imaging

J Nucl Cardiol. May-Jun 2006;13(3):415-26. doi: 10.1016/j.nuclcard.2006.03.002.


Cardiotoxicity may result from a range of chemotherapeutic agents. The prevalence of cardiotoxicity from certain cytotoxic agents is reported to be significantly high. In addition to serious side effects and increased long-lasting morbidity and mortality, dose limitation and suboptimal usage is an important adverse effect. Nuclear cardiac imaging has played a quintessential and important role in identifying patients at risk and in the prevention and reduction of cardiac injury resulting from cytotoxic agents. Despite exploring a number of other diagnostic imaging or biochemical tools for identification of cardiac injury, nuclear cardiac imaging in the form of radionuclide angiocardiography continues to be the most suitable and cost-effective tool for reducing the prevalence of cases of cardiac dysfunction resulting from chemotherapy. This article reviews the prevalence, mechanisms, and prevention strategies for cardiotoxicity associated with some of the commonly known cytotoxic agents and the role of nuclear cardiac imaging in its monitoring and prevention, along with recent advances in this area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine / pharmacology
  • Anthracyclines / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Apoptosis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Doxorubicin / toxicity
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Nuclear Medicine / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods*
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors


  • Anthracyclines
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine
  • Doxorubicin