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5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is one of the most common causes of cardiotoxicity associated with chemotherapy. The manifestations of 5-FU cardiotoxicity are diverse, and there are no established clinical guidelines addressing the diagnosis and management of this condition. Here we summarize the mechanistic and clinical data available to guide clinicians in caring for patients with suspected 5-FU cardiotoxicity. The decision to resume 5-FU treatment in patients with suspected cardiovascular toxicity remains challenging. Testing for predisposing genetic variants may be helpful, particularly in patients with other signs of 5-FU toxicity. Uridine triacetate is a recently approved antidote that can improve clinical outcomes in patients with life-threatening fluoropyrimidine cardiotoxicity. 5-FU cardiotoxicity remains poorly understood, with limited mechanistic or prospective clinical trial data available to define risk factors or effective management strategies. Risk stratification and therapeutic decisions should be individualized, based on the risk-benefit ratio of continuing 5-FU therapy for each patient.


Luis Alberto More, Sarah Lane, Aarti Asnani. 5-FU Cardiotoxicity: Vasospasm, Myocarditis, and Sudden Death. Current cardiology reports. 2021 Feb 03;23(3):17

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PMID: 33537861

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