Morphologic Assessment of Cardiac Lesions Caused by Anthracyclines

  • V. J. Ferrans
Part of the Developments in Oncology book series (DION, volume 10)


The clinical use of daunorubicin and doxorubicin, two anti-neoplastic drugs of the anthracycline family, has been limited by the development of cardiotoxic effects. These can be subdivided into acute, subacute and chronic depending upon their temporal relationship to the administration of the drugs. The acute effects consist of hypotension, tachycardia and various arrhythmias, which develop within minutes after intravenous administration. The subacute effects are characterized by fibrinous pericarditis or myocardial dysfunction, which occur within four weeks of the first or second dose of the drug. The chronic effects develop only after several weeks or months of treatment, sometimes after the course of therapy has been completed, and are manifested by the insidious onset of severe, often fatal congestive heart failure.


Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Cardiac Muscle Cell Total Cumulative Dose Erythrocyte Ghost Membrane Chronic Cardiotoxicity 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1982

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  • V. J. Ferrans

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