Echocardiographic Assessment for the Detection of Cardiotoxicity Due to Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Inhibitor Therapy in Metastatic Renal Cell and Colorectal Cancers

Lara F. Nhola, Sahar S. Abdelmoneim, Hector R. Villarraga, Manish Kohli, Axel Grothey, Kimberly Ann Bordun, Matthew Cheung, Ryan Best, David Cheung, Runqing Huang, Sergio Barros-Gomes, Marshall Pitz, Pawan K. Singal, Davinder S. Jassal, Sharon L. Mulvagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Cardio-oncology is a recently established discipline that focuses on the management of patients with cancer who are at risk for developing cardiovascular complications as a result of their underlying oncologic treatment. In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor (VEGF-i) therapy is commonly used to improve overall survival. Although these novel anticancer drugs may lead to the development of cardiotoxicity, whether early detection of cardiac dysfunction using serial echocardiography could potentially prevent the development of heart failure in this patient population requires further study. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography in the detection of cardiotoxicity due to VEGF-i therapy in patients with mCRC or mRCC. Methods: Patients with mRCC or mCRC were evaluated using serial echocardiography at baseline and 1, 3, and 6 months following VEGF-i treatment. Results: A total of 40 patients (34 men; mean age, 63 ± 9 years) receiving VEGF-i therapy were prospectively recruited at two academic centers: 26 (65%) were receiving sunitinib, eight (20%) pazopanib, and six (15%) bevacizumab. The following observations were made: (1) 8% of patients developed clinically asymptomatic cancer therapeutics–related cardiac dysfunction; (2) 30% of patients developed clinically significant decreases in global longitudinal strain, a marker for early subclinical cardiac dysfunction; (3) baseline abnormalities in global longitudinal strain may identify a subset of patients at higher risk for developing cancer therapeutics–related cardiac dysfunction; and (4) new or worsening hypertension was the most common adverse cardiovascular event, afflicting nearly one third of the study population. Conclusions: Cardiac dysfunction defined by serial changes in myocardial strain assessed using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography occurs in patients undergoing treatment with VEGF-i for mCRC or mRCC, which may provide an opportunity for preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Cardio-oncology
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Echocardiography
  • Two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography
  • VEGF inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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