Risk assessment and management of anthracycline and HER2 receptor inhibitor-induced cardiomyopathy

South Med J. 2015 Feb;108(2):71-8. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000232.


With the advent and increased use of chemotherapeutic agents and radiation therapy, cancer survival rates have increased. With increased survival, both acute and chronic cardiotoxic adverse effects have emerged. The growing need for managing the treatment of individuals with chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity has led to the formation of cardio-oncology programs throughout the United States. These programs concentrate on many aspects of cardiac disease in the oncology patient. Of these, the cardiotoxic effects (particularly cardiomyopathy) of anthracyclines and HER2 receptor inhibitors are a large focus of cardio-oncology practice. Despite the increasing availability of these programs, no consensus guidelines have been established to provide a framework for treating these patients. This review describes the initial evaluation, risk assessment, and management of individuals receiving anthracycline and HER2 receptor inhibitor therapy for cardiomyopathy. These recommendations are supported by the current literature in this field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthracyclines / administration & dosage
  • Anthracyclines / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cardiomyopathies / chemically induced*
  • Cardiomyopathies / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Risk Assessment


  • Anthracyclines
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2