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Oncol Rep. 2001 May-Jun;8(3):611-4.

Doxorubicin cardiotoxicity in children: reduced incidence of cardiac dysfunction associated with continuous-infusion schedules.

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Departments of Medical Specialties and Melanoma/Sarcoma and the Division of Pediatrics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 97 children (59 boys and 38 girls) with a median age of 13 +/- 4 years who had been treated with continuous infusion of doxorubicin at a dosage of 60 mg/m2 over 24 h (61 patients) or at a dosage of 75 mg/m2 over 72 h (36 patients). The drug was administered every 3 weeks. The cardiac status of patients was evaluated as a baseline and every 6 months during, and following therapy (median, 30.5 months). The evaluations included M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiography. Congestive heart failure developed in only one patient in this series, an 8-year-old girl who ultimately died of her cardiac complication. This incidence of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity was compared with that seen in a control group of pediatric patients previously treated with doxorubicin at similar dosages but with a rapid infusion. The result compared favorably to the 13% incidence of cardiotoxicity (p = 0.03) and 7% mortality (p < 0.01) in the control group. No changes in the levels of tumor response were noted in children treated by continuous infusion when compared with historical controls. Continuous-infusion schedules of doxorubicin thus result in fewer incidences of cardiotoxicity in children and should be considered for wider application in pediatric cancer patients receiving doxorubicin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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