Electrocardiographic characteristics of bladder cancer patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy

Zi Liang Chen, Kai Peng Jia, Yi Zheng, Nan Zhang, Xin Wang, Gary Tse, Zhi Wei Zhang, Hai Long Hu, Tong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Patients treated with preoperative chemotherapy and immunotherapy for bladder cancer may be at increased risk of cardiotoxicity and electrophysiological abnormalities. This study aimed to analyze their electrocardiographic (ECG) alterations. Methods: Patients with bladder cancer who were hospitalized and receiving tislelizumab plus nab-paclitaxel (TnP) were enrolled prospectively. ECG, cardiac biomarkers, and echocardiography were performed at baseline and the end of TnP. Results: A total of 60 patients (76.7% males), including 30 muscle-invasive and 30 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, received three or four cycles of TnP, respectively. Hypertension was the commonest comorbidity (41.7%), and 25 patients (41.7%) were prescribed cardiovascular drugs. In comparison with baseline characteristics, cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) were within normal ranges after TnP. However, echocardiographic parameter of left ventricular ejection fraction slightly decreased after TnP (62.81 ± 3.81% to 61.10 ± 4.37%, p =.011). The incidence of abnormal ECG increased from 65.0% at baseline to 76.7%, of which only a higher prevalence of fragmented QRS (fQRS) was observed (33.3% to 50.0%, p =.013; mainly in inferior leads). ECG parameters of QT dispersion (QTd) were prolonged significantly after the regimen (39.50 ± 11.37 to 44.20 ± 15.85 ms, p =.019). Conclusion: In bladder cancer patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy, the main ECG abnormality was fQRS and QTd, with relatively normal cardiac biomarkers and echocardiographic parameters. Regular ECG screening should be carried out carefully to detect potential cardiotoxicity in the long-term follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13107
JournalAnnals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • bladder cancer
  • cardio-oncology
  • electrocardiography
  • immunotherapy
  • preoperative therapy


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