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This article is the author's final published version in Medicine (United States), Volume 101, Issue 28, July 2022, Pages E29562.

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BACKGROUND: Chemotherapeutic agents have been associated with cardiotoxicity; thus, they require close monitoring. Several echocardiographic variables have been investigated as early predictors of symptomatic cardiotoxicity in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

OBJECTIVE: To identify if global longitudinal strain (GLS) is a better predictor of symptomatic cardiotoxicity compared to left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in patients receiving chemotherapy.

METHODS: MEDLINE, Scopus, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from inception through December 2020. Adults who developed symptomatic cardiotoxicity (New York Heart Association [NYHA] Class III-IV heart failure, cardiac arrest, or cardiac death) after undergoing chemotherapy with pre- and postchemotherapy echocardiographic measures of cardiac function were included. The primary focus was on the prediction of symptomatic cardiotoxicity. Estimates were reported as random effects hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: Four studies met inclusion criteria. The most common malignancy identified in the included studies was breast cancer, and the most common chemotherapeutic agent utilized was anthracyclines. Most studies utilized the Simpson biplane method to measure echocardiographic parameters. Pooled results demonstrated no significant association between LVEF and the prediction of symptomatic cardiotoxicity (HR 1.48; 95% CI, 0.96-2.27; P = 0.07). However, 2 studies that analyzed GLS found it to be a strong predictor of symptomatic cardiotoxicity (HR 1.46; 95% CI, 1.34-1.58; P < .001). There was no significant association between symptomatic cardiotoxicity and baseline left ventricular end diastolic volume, end systolic volume, or end diastolic volume index.

CONCLUSIONS: GLS may predict symptomatic cardiotoxicity and be used to monitor patients on chemotherapy for symptomatic cardiac dysfunction. While the pooled results for baseline LVEF identified that it is not a predictor of symptomatic cardiotoxicity, this differs from the findings of the only randomized trial included in this meta-analysis. The data for baseline GLS as a predictor of symptomatic cardiotoxicity is encouraging, but definite evidence that GLS may be superior to LVEF is lacking. Prospective randomized, blinded trials are required to identify if 1 echocardiographic parameter may be superior to the other.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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