The value of pre-transplant factors for predicting the development of cardiac complications after transplantation has been inconsistent among studies. We analyzed the impact of pre-transplant factors on the incidence of severe cardiac complications in 164 hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. We identified eight patients (4.8%) who experienced grade III or IV cardiac complications according to the Bearman criteria. Seven died of cardiac causes a median of 3 days after the onset of cardiac complications. On univariate analysis, both the cumulative dose of anthracyclines and the use of anthracyclines within 60 days before transplantation affected the incidence of severe cardiac complications (P=0.0091 and 0.011). The dissociation of heart rate and body temperature, which reflects "relative tachycardia", was also associated with a higher incidence of cardiac complications (P=0.024). None of the variables obtained by electrocardiography or echocardiography were useful for predicting cardiac complications after transplantation, although the statistical power might not be sufficient to detect the usefulness of ejection fraction. On a multivariate analysis, the cumulative dose of anthracyclines was the only independent significant risk factor for severe cardiac complications. We conclude that the cumulative dose of anthracyclines is the most potent predictor of cardiac complications and the administration of anthracyclines should be avoided within two months before transplantation.