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Cardiac Energetics Before, During, and After Anthracycline-Based Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer Patients Using 31P Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: A Pilot Study.

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Macnaught, Gillian 
Oikonomidou, Olga 
Rodgers, Christopher T 
Clarke, William 
Cooper, Annette 


Purpose: To explore the utility of phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P MRS) in identifying anthracycline-induced cardiac toxicity in patients with breast cancer. Methods: Twenty patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy had cardiac magnetic resonance assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and 31P MRS to determine myocardial Phosphocreatine/Adenosine Triphosphate Ratio (PCr/ATP) at three time points: pre-, mid-, and end-chemotherapy. Plasma high sensitivity cardiac troponin-I (cTn-I) tests and electrocardiograms were also performed at these same time points. Results: Phosphocreatine/Adenosine Triphosphate did not change significantly between pre- and mid-chemo (2.16 ± 0.46 vs. 2.00 ± 0.56, p = 0.80) and pre- and end-chemo (2.16 ± 0.46 vs. 2.17 ± 0.86, p = 0.99). Mean LVEF reduced significantly by 5.1% between pre- and end-chemo (61.4 ± 4.4 vs. 56.3 ± 8.1 %, p = 0.02). Change in PCr/ATP ratios from pre- to end-chemo correlated inversely with changes in LVEF over the same period (r = -0.65, p = 0.006). Plasma cTn-I increased progressively during chemotherapy from pre- to mid-chemo (1.35 ± 0.81 to 4.40 ± 2.64 ng/L; p = 0.01) and from mid- to end-chemo (4.40 ± 2.64 to 18.33 ± 13.23 ng/L; p = 0.001). Conclusions: In this small cohort pilot study, we did not observe a clear change in mean PCr/ATP values during chemotherapy despite evidence of increased plasma cardiac biomarkers and reduced LVEF. Future similar studies should be adequately powered to take account of patient drop-out and variable changes in PCr/ATP and could include T1 and T2 mapping.



breast cancer, cardiac energetics, chemotherapy, ejection fraction, troponin

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Front Cardiovasc Med

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Frontiers Media SA


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Wellcome Trust (Unknown)
Wellcome Trust (098436/Z/12/B)
This study was funded by the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation and The Margaret Lee Breast Cancer Fund. Funding for the 31P array used in this study was provided by the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence award. CTR is funded by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society [098436/Z/12/B].