Relationship between cumulative anthracycline dose and late cardiotoxicity in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Karsten Nysom, Kirsten Holm, Stuart R. Lipsitz, Suzanne M. Mone, Steven D. Colan, E. John Orav, Stephen E. Sallan, Jørgen H. Olsen, Henrik Hertz, Joes Ramsøe Jacobsen, Steven E. Lipshultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


Purpose: Late anthracycline cardiotoxicity after treatment for childhood cancer is common and often progressive. A safe anthracycline dose that will not result in late cardiac abnormalities has not been established due to the limited dose ranges used in existing studies. Patients and Methods: To determine the relationship between cumulative anthracycline dose and late cardiotoxicity, we performed echocardiograms on 189 survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia a median of 8.1 years (range, 2.0 to 23.4) after completion of anthracycline therapy. Patients were treated according to protocols that used widely varying cumulative anthracycline doses, but comparable nonanthracycline chemotherapy. Patients were divided into four groups based on the city of treatment and cumulative anthracycline dose: Copenhagen, 0 to 23 mg/m2 (n = 32); Boston, 45 mg/m2 (n = 17); Copenhagen, 73 to 301 mg/m2 (n = 53); and Boston, 244 to 550 mg/m2 (n = 87). Left ventricular dimension and fractional shortening were adjusted for sex and age or body-surface area through use of o control population (n = 296), and then compared among the four groups. Results: Mean left ventricular dimension was significantly increased in the high-dose Boston group (observed:predicted value, 4.57 cm:4.45 cm; P = .002) and significantly higher than in the two Copenhagen groups. In the three lower-dose groups, there was no significant increase in mean left ventricular dimension, and the groups were not significantly different from each other. Similarly, the mean left ventricular fractional shortening was significantly depressed in the high-dose Boston group (observed:predicted value, 29.0%:33.8%; P = .0001) and significantly lower than in the three lowerdose groups. Conclusion: Depressed left ventricular fractional shortening and left ventricular dilatation were uncommon years after treatment of childhood leukemia when cumulative anthracycline doses were ≤ 300 mg/m2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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