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J Clin Oncol. 1995 Nov;13(11):2827-34.

Idarubicin cardiotoxicity: a retrospective study in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplasia.

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Department of Hematology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



To estimate the incidence of idarubicin (IDA)-related cardiomyopathy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplasia (MDS).


We analyzed a group of 127 AML/MDS patients who received IDA-based induction and postremission or salvage therapy and achieved a complete remission (CR) that lasted > or = 12 weeks for the development of IDA-related congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF was defined as definite if a resting left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of < or = 45% measured by radionuclide ventriculogram (RV) accompanied the clinical diagnosis of CHF, which had to be made during or within 6 months of receiving IDA and for which no other cause was apparent; without RV confirmation, the diagnosis was considered probable. Patients who had RVs performed were evaluated for decreasing LVEF. Older age (> or = 70 years), prior/sequential anthracycline/mitoxantrone (anthraquinone) therapy, and cardiac disease/hypertension were evaluated as risk factors for the development of CHF.


One hundred fifteen patients were assessable (median age, 40 years; median dose, 96 mg/m2). Sixty-five had RVs performed during therapy; 43 had risk factors. The probability of IDA-related cardiomyopathy was 5% at a cumulative IDA dose of 150 to 290 mg/m2, with 18 patients receiving doses greater than 150 mg/m2. At a cumulative IDA dose of 150 mg/m2, the probability of a mild or greater asymptomatic decrease probability of a mild or greater asymptomatic decrease in LVEF (> or = 10% to a level < or = 50%) was 18%, whereas the probability of a moderate or greater asymptomatic decrease in LVEF (> or = 15% to a level < or = 45%) was 7%. No patient with asymptomatic LVEF decreases developed CHF. CHF was more frequent in patients with prior/sequential exposure to anthracyclines/mitoxantrone (P = .01).


In this patient group, IDA-related cardiomyopathy was uncommon with cumulative IDA doses of up to 290 mg/m2. Asymptomatic LVEF decreases were more frequent, but their predictive value for the development of CHF is unclear.

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