Routine cardiac evaluation in patients with early-stage breast cancer before adjuvant chemotherapy

Alwin Jeyakumar, Jillian Dipenta, Stephanie Snow, Daniel Rayson, Kara Thompson, Chris Theriault, Tallal Younis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: This population-based study of women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer aimed to (i) determine the current utilization pattern of multigated acquisition (MUGA) scans before adjuvant chemotherapy (AdjC) treatment, and (ii) examine the impact of MUGA scan results on AdjC decision making. Methods: All women who underwent curative-intent surgery for stage I-III breast cancer between October 2005 and September 2006 in Nova Scotia, Canada, were identified through the provincial cancer registry. A retrospective chart review was performed to abstract all relevant clinical-pathologic variables, including baseline cardiac risk factors. The association between MUGA scan utilization and clinical-pathologic variables, as well as receipt and type of AdjC, was examined through univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: The study included 593 women, of whom 238 (40%) received AdjC (94% anthracycline vs. 6% nonanthracycline) and 198 (33%) underwent baseline MUGA scans. Of those received AdjC, 80% underwent MUGA scans. MUGA scan utilization was associated with AdjC treatment (yes vs. no; P <.0001), Her-2/neu status (positive vs. negative vs. not tested; P <.0001), and AdjC regimen (anthracycline vs. nonanthracycline; P <.0001). Abnormal MUGA results were observed in 5 (2.5%) of 198; all were smokers, and 4 were >65 years of age. In the 1 patient <50 years old, subsequent echocardiograms indicated normal cardiac function. Conclusions: Routine baseline MUGA scans before AdjC were abnormal and changed the AdjC treatment decision in only 2.5% and 2.0% of patients, respectively. Routine MUGA scans before anthracycline-based AdjC without trastuzumab, however, did not influence AdjC decisions for younger patients <65 years of age without underlying cardiac risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Breast Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Anthracycline
  • Breast cancer
  • Multigated acquisition scan
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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