Medical Definition of Doxorubicin cardiomyopathy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Doxorubicin cardiomyopathy: Heart disease due to the drug doxorubicin (brand name: Adriamycin), a potent cancer chemotherapy, used for a variety of cancers such as breast cancer and leukemia. Unfortunately, its clinical use is limited by dose-dependent cardiac side effects that can interfere with the pumping action of the heart. You can receive only up to a certain amount of adriamycin during your lifetime. This "lifetime maximum dose" may be lower if you have heart disease risk factors such as radiation to the chest, advancing age, and use of other heart-toxic drugs. Your doctor will check your heart function before you may take any adriamycin and will monitor your heart closely during your treatment. In addition, some patients develop dilated cardiomyopathy years after treatment with adriamycin .

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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