Long-term enalapril therapy for left ventricular dysfunction in doxorubicin-treated survivors of childhood cancer

Steven E. Lipshultz, Stuart R. Lipsitz, Stephen E. Sallan, Valeriano C. Simbre, Seema L. Shaikh, Suzanne M. Mone, Richard D. Gelber, Steven D. Colan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations


Purpose: A common late effect of doxorubicin therapy for childhood cancer is reduced left-ventricular (LV) wall thickness resulting in elevated LV afterload and depressed LV function. Many children are given angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, which have been studied primarily in adults. We document the long-term effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in doxorubicin-treated survivors of childhood cancer. Patients and Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed records of 18 children who had regular echocardiographic examinations during enalapril therapy (mean age at cancer diagnosis, 8 years; mean time between completion of doxorubicin therapy and start of enalapril, 7 years; median follow-up since the start of enalapril, 10 years). Results: Over the first 6 years of enalapril therapy, there was progressive improvement toward normal values in LV dimension, afterload, fractional shortening, and mass, but all these parameters deteriorated between 6 and 10 years. LV wall thickness deteriorated throughout the study period, as did LV contractility and systolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure fell slightly. By 6 years on enalapril, all six patients who had had congestive heart failure at the start of enalapril therapy had either died or undergone cardiac transplantation, compared with three of the 12 asymptomatic patients. Conclusion: In doxorubicin-treated long-term survivors of childhood cancer, enalapril-induced improvement in LV structure and function is transient. The primary defect, which is LV wall thinning, continues to deteriorate, and thus the short-term improvement was mostly related to lowered diastolic blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4517-4522
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


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