Incremental Value of Myocardial Work over Global Longitudinal Strain in the Surveillance for Cancer-Treatment-Related Cardiac Dysfunction: A Case-Control Study

J Clin Med. 2022 Feb 9;11(4):912. doi: 10.3390/jcm11040912.


The load dependence of global longitudinal strain (GLS) means that changes in systolic blood pressure (BP) between visits may confound the diagnosis of cancer-treatment-related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD). We sought to determine whether the estimation of myocardial work, which incorporates SBP, could overcome this limitation. In this case-control study, 44 asymptomatic patients at risk of CTRCD underwent echocardiography at baseline and after oncologic treatment. CTRCD was defined on the basis of the change in the ejection fraction. Those with CTRCD were divided into subsets with and without a follow-up SBP increment >20 mmHg (CTRCD+BP+ and CTRCD+BP-), and matched with patients without CTRCD (CTRCD-BP+ and CTRCD-BP-). The work index (GWI), constructive work (GCW), wasted work (GWW), and work efficiency (GWE) were assessed in addition to the GLS. The largest increases in the GWI and GCW at follow-up were found in CTRCD-BP+ patients. The CTRCD+BP- patients demonstrated significantly larger decreases in GWI and GCW than their CTRCD+BP+ and CTRCD-BP- peers. ROC analysis for the discrimination of LV functional changes in response to increased afterload in the absence of cardiotoxicity revealed higher AUCs for GCW (AUC = 0.97) and GWI (AUC = 0.93) than GLS (AUC = 0.73), GWW (AUC = 0.51), or GWE (AUC = 0.63, all p-values < 0.001). GCW (OR: 1.021; 95% CI: 1.001-1.042; p < 0.04) was the only feature independently associated with CTRCD-BP+. Myocardial work is superior to GLS in the serial assessments in patients receiving cardiotoxic chemotherapy. The impairment of GLS in the presence of an increase in GWI and GCW indicates the impact of elevated afterload on LV performance in the absence of actual myocardial impairment.

Keywords: cardiotoxicity; chemotherapy; left ventricular longitudinal deformation; myocardial strain; myocardial work.