Purpose: Despite the lack of evidence, routine left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) measurement in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) before anthracycline-based chemotherapy (ABC) is recommended by practice guidelines and required in DLBCL trials in the United States. Methods: We determined the frequency of the following in 197 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL treated at our institution: one, LVEF measurement before ABC; two, finding of asymptomatic LV dysfunction (ALVD); and three, modification in treatment strategy as a result of LVEF measurement. Results: The median age was 71 years, and 54% of patients were men. LVEF was measured in 128 patients (65%) pretreatment, including in 15 with prior congestive heart failure (CHF). The reasons for not measuring LVEF were: clinically low risk for ALVD (n = 32), medical frailty (n = 15), palliative care (n = 3), ABC not standard therapy (n = 12), and prior CHF (n = 7). Among patients without prior CHF who had LVEF assessed (n = 113), ALVD was detected in four (4%), with LVEF ranging from 41% to 48%. Four patients were not treated despite normal LVEF because of comorbidities and anticipated toxicities. In contrast, all four patients with ALVD received ABC. No patient had a modification in treatment strategy as a result of LVEF measurement. After a median follow-up of 60 months, among those who remained alive, CHF developed in 15% versus 6% of patients receiving ABC who did and did not have LVEF measured, respectively (P = .246). Conclusion: Our findings challenge the utility of routine LVEF measurement in patients with DLBCL before ABC. Potential cost savings to our health care system could be substantial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy