Clinical characterization and natural history of chemotherapy-induced dilated cardiomyopathy

Andrea Lalario, Eva Del Mestre, Michele Lo Casto, Vincenzo Nuzzi, Paolo Manca, Daniel I. Bromage, Giulia Barbati, Marco Merlo*, Gianfranco Sinagra, Antonio Cannatà

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Chemotherapy-induced dilated cardiomyopathy (CI-DCM) is a well-recognized phenotype of non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), characterized by poor outcomes. However, a detailed comparison between idiopathic DCM (iDCM) and CI-DCM is still lacking. Methods and results: All consecutive DCM patients enrolled in the Trieste Muscle Heart Disease Registry were analysed. CI-DCM and iDCM were defined according to current recommendations. The primary study outcome measure was all-mortality death and secondary outcomes were a) a composite of cardiovascular death/heart-transplantation/ventricular-assist-device implantation, and b) major ventricular arrhythmias. The study included 551 patients (499 iDCM and 52 CI-DCM). At enrolment, compared with iDCM, CI-DCM patients were older (51 ± 14 years vs. 58 ± 3 years, respectively, P < 0.001) and had a higher left ventricular ejection fraction (32% ± 9 vs. 35% ± 10, respectively, P = 0.03). Over a median follow-up of 90 months (IQR 54–140 months), CI-DCM patients had a higher incidence of all-cause mortality compared with iDCM (36.5% vs. 8.4% in CI-DCM and iDCM respectively, P < 0.001), while the incidence of major ventricular arrhythmias was higher in the iDCM group compared with CI-DCM (4% vs. 0%, in CI-DCM and iDCM respectively, P = 0.03). The risk of the composite outcome was comparable between the two groups (P = 0.91). At Cox multivariable analysis, the diagnosis of CI-DCM emerged as independently associated to primary outcome (HR 6.42, 95% C.I. 2.52–16.31, P < 0.001). Conclusions: In a well-selected DCM cohort, patients with a chemotherapy-induced aetiology had a higher incidence of all-cause mortality compared with iDCM. Conversely, the incidence of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmic events was higher among patients with iDCM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3052-3059
Number of pages8
JournalESC Heart Failure
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Chemotherapy induced cardiomyopathy
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Outcomes
  • Prognosis


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