Electrocardiographic characteristics of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapy


Chen Z, et al. J Electrocardiol 2020.


BACKGROUND: Patients receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy (AbC) for newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) may develop cardiac electrophysiological abnormalities. In this study, their electrocardiography (ECG) features were analyzed.

METHODS: Electronic health records of patients with a diagnosis of DLBCL and treated with AbC were reviewed retrospectively. Variables from ECGs obtained around anthracycline treatment were manually measured.

RESULTS: A total of 76 patients (57% males). The incidence of abnormal ECG increased from 36.8% at baseline to 48.7%, of which only the prevalence of fragmented QRS (fQRS) significantly increased after AbC (15.8% to 28.9%, P = 0.041). In comparison with baseline ECG parameters, corrected QT interval (QTc) statistically prolonged (399.95 ± 27.11 ms to 415.07 ± 31.03 ms, P < 0.001), whilst QT dispersion (QTd) significantly (41.25 ± 16.15 ms to 36.70 ± 11.84 ms, P = 0.032) decreased.

CONCLUSION: In DLBCL patients receiving anthracycline-based therapies, the main ECG abnormalities detected were fQRS and QTc prolongation. Regular ECG monitoring should be carefully performed on follow-up to detect cardiotoxicity during follow-up after treatment.