Utility of routine left ventricular ejection fraction measurement before anthracycline-based chemotherapy in patients with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma

Amber L. Conrad, Jacob D. Gundrum, Vicki L. McHugh, Ronald S. Go

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-340
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy

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