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Long-term follow-up after thoracic radiotherapy: symptomatic heart disease is an ominous digne


Attenhofer Jost, Christine H; Huguenin, Pia; Prêtre, René; Turina, Juraj; Seifert, Burkhardt; Amann, F Wolfgang; Glanzmann, Christoph; Vogt, Paul R; Jenni, Rolf (2007). Long-term follow-up after thoracic radiotherapy: symptomatic heart disease is an ominous digne. Cardiovascular Medicine, 10(12):387-396.

Abstract

Background: Thoracic radiotherapy (RT), especially with past technology, may affect the heart, but rarely leads to symptoms. In patients with symptomatic heart disease after RT, outcome seems to be dismal. Methods: In this observational descriptive study, clinical characteristics, findings of ECG, echocardiography, cardiac interventions and follow-up were analysed in patients with prior RT and symptomatic heart disease. The patients were identified in the echocardiography database during a ten year period.
Results: There were 25 patients who had thoracic RT at a median age of 35 years (range: 9–59) for lymphoma (12 patients), breast cancer (9) or other cancer (4). At least likely inclusion of the heart in the target volume of previous RT was present in of 16 of 20 patients with detailed information on RT. Last follow-up was 24 years (range: 5–57) after RT at a median age of 56 years (range: 30–84). Symptoms (≥1 per patient) included: dyspnea (21 patients), angina (12) and/or heart failure (10). Three patients had prior myocardial infarction. The following disease was found: moderate valvular disease in 19 patients (76%), coronary artery disease in 12 (48%), abnormal ECG in 18 (72%), relevant conduction system disease in 9 (36%), restriction / constriction in 7 (28%), and pericardial effusion in 4 (16%). Cardiac surgery was necessary in 12 patients (death in 2 patients), percutaneous coronary interventions in 5 and pacemaker implantation in 3. Endocarditis occurred in 2 patients. During follow-up (21 ± 8 months), death occurred in 6 patients (24%) and was due to heart disease in 5 of them.
Conclusions: If symptomatic heart disease develops in the long-term follow-up after RT, complex disease of valves, coronary arteries, conduction system, myocardium and pericardium is frequently observed. Cardiac interventions are often necessary; and heart disdisease may be a common cause of death in these patients. Careful assessment and evaluation of treatment options are needed in this patient group.

Abstract

Background: Thoracic radiotherapy (RT), especially with past technology, may affect the heart, but rarely leads to symptoms. In patients with symptomatic heart disease after RT, outcome seems to be dismal. Methods: In this observational descriptive study, clinical characteristics, findings of ECG, echocardiography, cardiac interventions and follow-up were analysed in patients with prior RT and symptomatic heart disease. The patients were identified in the echocardiography database during a ten year period.
Results: There were 25 patients who had thoracic RT at a median age of 35 years (range: 9–59) for lymphoma (12 patients), breast cancer (9) or other cancer (4). At least likely inclusion of the heart in the target volume of previous RT was present in of 16 of 20 patients with detailed information on RT. Last follow-up was 24 years (range: 5–57) after RT at a median age of 56 years (range: 30–84). Symptoms (≥1 per patient) included: dyspnea (21 patients), angina (12) and/or heart failure (10). Three patients had prior myocardial infarction. The following disease was found: moderate valvular disease in 19 patients (76%), coronary artery disease in 12 (48%), abnormal ECG in 18 (72%), relevant conduction system disease in 9 (36%), restriction / constriction in 7 (28%), and pericardial effusion in 4 (16%). Cardiac surgery was necessary in 12 patients (death in 2 patients), percutaneous coronary interventions in 5 and pacemaker implantation in 3. Endocarditis occurred in 2 patients. During follow-up (21 ± 8 months), death occurred in 6 patients (24%) and was due to heart disease in 5 of them.
Conclusions: If symptomatic heart disease develops in the long-term follow-up after RT, complex disease of valves, coronary arteries, conduction system, myocardium and pericardium is frequently observed. Cardiac interventions are often necessary; and heart disdisease may be a common cause of death in these patients. Careful assessment and evaluation of treatment options are needed in this patient group.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:20 May 2014 14:55
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 05:39
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:1423-5528
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.cardiovascmed.ch/docs/2007/2007-10/2007-10-045.PDF

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