European heart journal. Case reports, Volume 5, Issue 10, 15 3 2021, Pages ytab333 Case series, chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy: mind the family history! Moghadasi S, Fijn R, Beeres SLMA, Bikker H, Jongbloed JDH, Josephus Jitta D, Kroep JR, Lekanne Deprez RH, Vos YJ, de Vreede MJM, Antoni ML, Barge-Schaapveld DQCM

Background

Cardiotoxicity presenting as cardiomyopathy is a common side effect in cancer treatment especially with anthracyclines. The role of genetic predisposition is still being investigated.

Case summary

Four unrelated patients with a familial burden for cardiac disease, who developed cardiomyopathy after anthracycline treatment are presented. Case 1 received chemotherapy for breast cancer and developed a dilated left ventricle just after treatment. Her father had died unexpectedly while being screened for heart transplant. Case 2 was known with a family history of sudden cardiac death prior to her breast cancer diagnosis. She received anthracycline-containing chemotherapy treatment twice in 5 years due to recurrence of breast cancer. During that period, two brothers developed a cardiomyopathy. Eighteen years later, a genetic predisposition for cardiomyopathy was ascertained and at screening an asymptomatic non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy was established. Case 3 was diagnosed with a dilated cardiomyopathy 1 year after chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Her mother had developed a dilated cardiomyopathy several years before. Case 4 received chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and developed dilated cardiomyopathy 1 year later. His brother died from congestive heart failure which he developed after chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and a grandmother had died suddenly during child delivery. In all four cases, genetic screening showed (likely) pathogenic variants in cardiomyopathy-associated genes.

Discussion

Current guidelines recommend cardiac evaluation in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy based on the presence of cardiovascular risk factors at the start of treatment. This series emphasizes the importance of including a thorough family history in this process.

Eur Heart J Case Rep. 2021 9;5(10):ytab333