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Chemotherapy’s Heart Complications Explored

Last Updated: June 10, 2009.

Because chemotherapy is often associated with cardiovascular complications, it's important that clinicians understand their incidence, pathogenesis, diagnosis and management, according to a state-of-the-art paper published in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

WEDNESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Because chemotherapy is often associated with cardiovascular complications, it's important that clinicians understand their incidence, pathogenesis, diagnosis and management, according to a state-of-the-art paper published in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Edward T. H. Yeh, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues reviewed recently published articles, research papers, and scientific abstracts presented at national conferences; searched the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site for relevant information; and consulted with the Department of Cardiology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The researchers found that many commonly used drugs are associated with an increased risk of heart failure, myocardial ischemia, hypertension, thromboembolism, QT prolongation and bradycardia. For example, they identified 14 drugs associated with left ventricular dysfunction.

"Antineoplastic therapy is frequently complicated by the development of cardiotoxicity," the authors write. "This subject is of rising concern for both cardiologists and oncologists since many of these adverse effects are likely to have significant consequences on patient outcomes. Therefore, identifying and understanding these effects is crucial to the successful management of cancer patients with cardiovascular complications."

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