Diminishment of respiratory sinus arrhythmia foreshadows doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy.
BACKGROUND: The development of a microcomputer-based device permits quick, simple, and noninvasive quantification of the respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) during quiet breathing. METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively and serially measured the radionuclide left ventricular ejection fraction and the RSA amplitude in 34 cancer patients receiving up to nine monthly bolus treatments with doxorubicin hydrochloride (60 mg/m2). Of the eight patients who ultimately developed symptomatic doxorubicin-induced congestive heart failure, seven (87.5%) demonstrated a significant decline in RSA amplitude; five of 26 subjects without clinical symptoms of cardiotoxicity (19.2%) showed a similar RSA amplitude decline. On average, significant RSA amplitude decline occurred 3 months before the last planned doxorubicin dose in patients destined to develop clinical congestive heart failure. CONCLUSION: Overall, RSA amplitude abnormality proved to be a more specific predictor of clinically significant congestive heart failure than did serial resting radionuclide ejection fractions.
Hrushesky, WJ; Fader, DJ; Berestka, JS; Sommer, M; Hayes, J; Cope, FO
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