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Emerging evidence suggests that the three tyrosine kinase inhibitors currently approved for the treatment of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) – imatinib, dasatinib, and nilotinib – have potential cardiotoxic effects. The mechanisms behind these events, and the relations between them, are largely unclear. For example, relative to dasatinib and nilotinib, severe congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction are rare but prominent with imatinib treatment, particularly in patients receiving higher doses (>600 mg/day). In comparison with imatinib, prolongation of the QT interval is relatively common in patients treated with either dasatinib or nilotinib. In contrast to nilotinib, pericardial effusions are observed with both imatinib and dasatinib. It is suggested that these data, an evaluation of cardiac status, use of concomitant medications, and potential risk factors should be considered in the management of CML.
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