Left ventricular mass in patients with a cardiomyopathy after treatment with anthracyclines

Am J Cardiol. 2012 Dec 1;110(11):1679-86. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.07.040. Epub 2012 Aug 21.


We aimed to describe the cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) findings and determine the prognostic variables in patients with a cardiomyopathy after treatment with anthracyclines. CMR imaging was performed in 91 patients (58% men, mean age 43 ± 18 years, and mean anthracycline dose of 276 ± 82 mg/m(2)) with a reduced ejection fraction after anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Major adverse cardiovascular events were defined as cardiovascular death, appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy, and admission for decompensated heart failure. Patients presented a median of 88 months (interquartile range 37 to 138) after chemotherapy and were followed for 27 months (interquartile range 22 to 38). Late gadolinium enhancement was an uncommon finding (5 patients, 6%) despite a reduced ejection fraction (36 ± 8%). An inverse association was found between the anthracycline dose and the indexed left ventricular (LV) mass by CMR (r = -0.67, p <0.001). A total of 52 adverse cardiac events occurred (event rate of 22%/year). When the patients were grouped according to the presence or absence of a major adverse cardiovascular event, the indexed LV mass and glomerular filtration rate were lower and the anthracycline dose was greater among the patients who experienced an adverse event. In a multivariate model, the indexed LV mass demonstrated the strongest association with major adverse cardiovascular events (hazard ratio 0.89, chi-square 26, p <0.001). In conclusion, myocardial scar by late gadolinium enhancement-CMR is infrequent in patients with anthracycline-cardiomyopathy despite a reduced ejection fraction, the event rate in patients with established anthracycline-cardiotoxicity is high, and indexed LV mass by CMR imaging is a predictor of adverse cardiovascular events.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthracyclines / adverse effects*
  • Anthracyclines / therapeutic use
  • Cardiomyopathies / chemically induced
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis*
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / methods*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Stroke Volume / drug effects*


  • Anthracyclines