Cardiac complications of chemotherapy: role of imaging.

Research paper by Timothy C TC Tan, Marielle M Scherrer-Crosbie

Indexed on: 13 Feb '14Published on: 13 Feb '14Published in: Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine


New advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have increased survival rates in patients with cancer. In parallel with this increase in the number of cancer survivors is an increasing prevalence of cardiac complications from cancer treatment. Chemotherapy-induced cardiac dysfunction is a major contributor to adverse morbidity and mortality rates in cancer patients. Evidence suggests that both clinical symptoms and the traditional left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) may lack sensitivity as measures of cardiotoxicity. The early identification of subclinical LV dysfunction is becoming increasingly important, as this may allow cancer patients and their physicians to make informed decisions about therapeutic options. The features of echocardiography make it a useful tool in the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiotoxicity. This review will examine the role of cardiac imaging in detecting cardiotoxicity, focusing primarily on the conventional and more recent echocardiographic approaches for assessing subclinical cardiotoxicity.