Cardiac function in survivors of childhood acute myeloid leukemia treated with chemotherapy only: a NOPHO-AML study

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We report cardiac function of patients treated for Childhood acute myeloid leukemia with chemotherapy only according to three consecutive Nordic protocols.


Ninety-eight of 138 eligible patients accepted examination with standardized echocardiography. Results were compared with age- and sex-matched controls.


The median age was 3 yr at diagnosis (range 0–15), and the median time from diagnosis to study was 11 yr (4–25). All but one patient had received doxorubicin and 90% had received mitoxantrone. The median cumulative dose of daunorubicin equivalents was 300 mg/m2 (210–525). Left ventricular fractional shortening (LVFS) and ejection fraction (LVEF) were lower in patients than in controls (32.6% (SD 4.0) vs. 35.2% (SD 3.4), P = 0.002 and 59.9% (SD 5.5) vs. 64.2% (SD 4.4), P = 0.001). The myocardial performance index (MPI) was higher in patients than in controls (0.32 (SD 0.081) vs. 0.26 (SD 0.074), P < 0.0001). Cumulative dose of doxorubicin but not mitoxantrone was related to lower LVFS (P = 0.037) and LVEF (P = 0.016). Longer follow-up was associated with lower LVFS (P = 0.034). Higher MPI was associated with young age at diagnosis (P = 0.04) and longer follow-up (P = 0.031).


In this study, most patients had cardiac function within normal limits and reported very few cardiac symptoms. However, compared with healthy controls, they had significantly reduced left ventricular function.

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