DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.18390 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 18390: Ibrutinib Increases Ventricular Arrhythmia Burden Independently of Atrial Arrhythmia

Stefan Torelli, Yunqiu Jiang, Alyssa Ayala, Muhammad Fazal, Ronald M Witteles, Tina Baykaner, Han Zhu, June W Rhee, Paul Cheng
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Use of Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors (BTKi) such as ibrutinib is frequently limited by atrial arrhythmia, possibly through off-target inhibition of C-Terminal-Src-Kinase (CSK). Whether BTKi can directly trigger ventricular arrhythmia is less clear. Case reports and retrospective analysis have suggested a link, but causal effect is not established. The association is further put into doubt by absent expression of CSK or BTK in ventricular cardiomyocytes, and absence of ventricular arrhythmia signals in meta-analyses of BTKi RCTs. Further study is critically needed.

Hypothesis: Ibrutinib induces ventricular arrhythmia through a unique mechanism.

Methods: We performed a retrospective crossover study of ibrutinib-treated patients with serial cardiac monitoring both on and off ibrutinib (pacemakers, loop recorders, or multiple holters) across a 10-year span in a large academic center to compare burden of atrial/ventricular ectopy on and off ibrutinib. A separate group of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) patients with serial cardiac monitoring not on BTKi was used as additional controls. To determine biological correlation, we tested the ability of ibrutinib to induce arrhythmia in cultured human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell derived ventricular cardiomyocytes (iPSC-vCMs).

Results: 88% (15/17) of patients on ibrutinib with serial cardiac monitoring had increased burden of Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs), with an average increase of 155 PVCs/hour (p<0.0001). An increase was not observed in the control cohort. Ventricular arrhythmia burden was not associated with atrial arrhythmia burden. Removing patient-related confounders, in vitro analysis of iPSC-vCMs demonstrated that ibrutinib induced arrhythmia following three days of treatment in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusions: In patients with continuous/serial cardiac monitoring, ibrutinib is associated with a significant increase in ventricular ectopy (average of 155 PVCs/hr). Lack of ventricular and atrial arrhythmia concordance suggests an alternative mechanism of arrhythmia induction. Increased arrhythmogenicity of human ventricular cardiomyocytes treated with ibrutinib indicates a direct myocardial mechanism.

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