Cyclophosphamide cardiotoxicity in bone marrow transplantation: a prospective evaluation of new dosing regimens

J Clin Oncol. 1991 Jul;9(7):1215-23. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1991.9.7.1215.


Cyclophosphamide (CY) cardiotoxicity may be a lethal complication of bone marrow transplantation. Previous echocardiographic studies have reported that left ventricular dysfunction due to CY occurs in over 50% of patients undergoing transplantation. To evaluate the cardiotoxicity of new dosing protocols that included twice-daily rather than once-daily CY, 44 bone marrow transplantation patients were prospectively evaluated with serial ECGs and echocardiograms. Twenty-six patients received a once-daily lower-dose protocol (mean total 87 +/- 11 mg/kg), and 18 patients received a twice-daily higher-dose (mean total 174 +/- 34 mg/kg) CY regimen. In the higher-dose CY group, significant reductions in summed ECG voltage (-20%) (P less than .01) and increases in left ventricular mass index (LVMI) (+10%) (P less than .05) were detected in the first week following therapy. These changes resolved by the third week following CY and were significantly greater than the changes noted in the lower-dose group. However, left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) did not change significantly in either group. Five patients developed clinical cardiotoxicity (four, pericarditis; one, congestive heart failure); four of the five patients were in the higher-dose group (P = .14). Only a prior history of congestive heart failure or a baseline EF less than 50% was an independent correlate of clinical cardiotoxicity (P less than .05). Thus, dose-dependent cardiotoxicity following the use of CY for bone marrow transplantation is evident as reversible decreases in ECG voltage and increases in left ventricular mass, possibly reflecting myocardial edema or hemorrhage. However, systolic dysfunction is much less common with these new twice-daily dosing regimens when compared with earlier studies of high-dose once-daily CY.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Echocardiography / drug effects
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pericarditis / chemically induced*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects


  • Cyclophosphamide