June 16, 2022
JUN 16, toxic vignette: anthracycline cardiotoxicity (monitoring left ventricular function)
Author's Note: Anthracycline antibiotics, e.g. doxorubicin (adriamycin) are among the most effective chemotherapy agents; they have been profitably incorporated in multidrug chemotherapy treatment routines for many types of cancer. These advantages are partially offset by a relatively unique adverse effect — the possibility of cardiotoxicity, permanent impairment of the systolic (contracting) function of ventricular heart muscle.
Development of this side effect can be minimized by pharmacological manipulations and by monitoring cardiac function periodically during longterm treatment.
Nuclear medicine techniques have classically been used, but echocardiography may also be of value (see the verse ‘Ejection Fraction’).
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