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Cancer Treat Rep. 1985 Feb;69(2):149-51.

Vinca alkaloid-induced cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy.


To determine the incidence of vinca alkaloid (VA)-induced cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN), neoplastic patients were studied. Thirty-three of them were receiving chemotherapy regimens including VAs, and 30 were receiving chemotherapy without VA and were considered controls. Abnormal variation in blood pressure on standing, heart rate during deep breathing, and heart rate on standing was found in 27 (82%), 16 (48%), and 16 (48%) patients receiving VA versus nine (30%; P less than 0.01), three (10%; P less than 0.05), and one (P less than 0.001) controls, respectively. Of 198 tests performed, 100 were abnormal in patients receiving VA (51%) versus 33 of 180 tests in the controls (18%; P less than 0.001). Although abnormal clinical or electrocardiographic tests for CAN appeared significantly more frequently in patients who received high doses of VA (P less than 0.01), their incidence was not significantly different in patients greater than or equal to 60 years of age, in those who received doxorubicin, or in those who showed abnormal deep tendon reflexes. The consequences of VA-induced CAN might be especially important for potentially curable cancer patients.

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