Utility of prechemotherapy evaluation of left ventricular function for patients with lymphoma

John Steuter, Robert Bociek, Fausto Loberiza, Daniel Mathers, James Armitage, Julie Vose, Martin Bast, Shikhar Saxena, Thomas Porter, Philip Bierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We reviewed the records of patients with lymphoma to determine whether a prechemotherapy evaluation of left ventricular function led to a change in patient management. We determined that testing rarely alters the choice of chemotherapy and that testing is a poor predictor of subsequent cardiac damage. Guidelines that recommend a cardiac evaluation for all patients with lymphoma who receive anthracyclines should be reexamined. Background: Published guidelines recommend baseline cardiac function testing before initiating anthracycline-based chemotherapy. These recommendations are based largely on consensus, and there is little information regarding how often testing leads to alterations in therapy or whether testing is able to predict subsequent cardiac toxicity. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma to determine whether there was a prechemotherapy evaluation of left ventricular function and whether findings from the evaluation led to alterations in therapy. Records also were reviewed to evaluate subsequent test results of cardiac function. Results: We identified 309 patients with lymphoma between 2004 and 2012 with a planned anthracycline- or anthracenedione-based regimen. Of this total, 232 patients (75%) had a pretreatment cardiac evaluation. There were 201 patients (87%) in this group with no history of cardiac disease. Although 22 of these patients (11%) had abnormal echocardiograms, none had a change in therapy and no subsequent cases of cardiomyopathy were identified. Five of the remaining 179 patients with a normal cardiac evaluation developed a cardiomyopathy. Thirty-one patients had a history of cardiac disease, and only 4 patients had a change in therapy. There were 77 patients (25%) who did not have a prechemotherapy cardiac evaluation. No subsequent cases of cardiomyopathy were identified in this group. Conclusions: Pretreatment evaluation rarely leads to a change in management and is not helpful in predicting subsequent cardiomyopathy. Guidelines that recommend evaluation of left ventricular function in all patients before anthracycline-based chemotherapy should be reexamined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Anthracycline
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Doxorubicin
  • Echocardiogram
  • Lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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