We aimed to determine whether the myocardial extracellular volume (ECV), measured using T1 measurements obtained during cardiac magnetic resonance imaging were increased in patients treated with anthracyclines. We performed cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography and measured the ECV in 42 patients treated with anthracyclines. The data from the cardiac magnetic resonance study were compared to those from healthy volunteers. The anthracycline-treated cohort consisted of 21 men and 21 women with a mean age of 55 ± 17 years, who presented a median of 84 months after chemotherapy with a cumulative anthracycline exposure of 282 ± 65 mg/m(2) and a mean left ventricular ejection fraction of 52 ± 12%. The ECV was elevated in the anthracycline-treated patients compared to the age- and gender-matched controls (0.36 ± 0.03 vs 0.28 ± 0.02, p <0.001). A positive association was found between the ECV and left atrial volume (ECV vs indexed left atrial volume, r = 0.65, p <0.001), and negative association was found between the ECV and diastolic function (E' lateral, r = -0.64, p <0.001). In conclusion, the myocardial ECV is elevated in patients with previous anthracycline treatment and is associated with the diastolic function and increased atrial volumes.
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