Background: Corrected QT (QTc) interval prolongation can induce fatal arrhythmias such as torsade de pointes. Patients and methods: To assess the characteristics of QTc intervals and arrhythmias in women with early breast cancer who received FEC100 adjuvant chemotherapy, electrocardiograms (ECGs) were recorded before and after each chemotherapy. Associations between QTc interval prolongation and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of potassium channel genes were also investigated. Results: A total of 131 ECG records were obtained in 34 patients who received 153 cycles of FEC100. QTc intervals could be measured in 127 records. There was a significant trend toward QTc interval prolongation after each treatment, persisting through four cycles of chemotherapy (P < 0.001). Median QTc interval prolongations were 13, 11, 18, and 14 ms in the first through fourth cycles of chemotherapy, respectively. QTc intervals differed significantly between cycles 1 and 4 before treatment as well as after treatment (P < 0.05). A single supraventricular premature contraction was noted in 3 (2.3%) of the 131 cycles in 2 (5.9%) of the 34 patients. There was no significant association between QTc interval prolongation and SNPs of potassium channel genes. Conclusion: This prospective study confirmed that FEC100 is associated with significant QTc interval prolongation in women with early breast cancer.
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