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Am J Emerg Med. 2009 Sep;27(7):903.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2008.11.012.

Trastuzumab (Herceptin)-associated cardiomyopathy presented as new onset of complete left bundle-branch block mimicking acute coronary syndrome: a case report and literature review.

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Division of Cardiology Department of Medicine, Song-Shan Armed Forces General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is well documented in reducing suffering and mortality from breast cancer. The clinically most important side effect of Herceptin is cardiotoxicity, which is reported in 2.6% to 4.5% of patients receiving trastuzumab alone and in as many as 27% of patients when trastuzumab is combined with an anthracycline in metastatic disease. We reported the case of a 50-year-old woman who presented to our emergency department (ED) because of chest pain and shortness of breath. On physical examination, holosystolic murmur over apex could be heard. Pulmonary and abdominal examinations were unremarkable. Twelve-lead electrocardiography showed sinus tachycardia and new onset of complete left bundle-branch block. Emergent transthoracic echocardiography revealed generalized hypokinesia of left ventricle and akinesia over interventricular septum and apex. She subsequently underwent immediate coronary angiography that revealed normal coronary angiography, and left ventriculogram revealed generalized hypokinesia with severe left ventricle dysfunction with ejection fraction of 33%. During right heart catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy, cardiac tamponade developed and was successfully relieved by pericardial window. She was discharged event-free 3 weeks later with conservative treatment. Although new onset of complete left bundle-branch block in a patient with chest pain may be acute coronary syndrome, careful review of medicine history is mandatory to avoid unnecessary procedure and complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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