Left ventricular function assessed by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography in long-term survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma treated by mediastinal radiotherapy with or without anthracycline therapy.

Research paper by Huey-Ru HR Tsai, Ola O Gjesdal, Torgeir T Wethal, Kristina Hermann KH Haugaa, Alexander A Fosså, Sophie Dorothea SD Fosså, Thor T Edvardsen

Indexed on: 25 Jan '11Published on: 25 Jan '11Published in: The American Journal of Cardiology®


Anthracycline therapy is well known for its adverse cardiac effects. However, few studies have been performed of the long-term follow-up of myocardial function in adult survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma receiving anthracycline. Two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography is an accurate angle-independent modality for the quantification of left ventricular (LV) function. The aim of the present study was to investigate the long-term effect of anthracycline on LV systolic function. Echocardiography was performed in 47 survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma 22 ± 2 years after successful mediastinal radiotherapy with (n = 27) or without (n = 20) anthracycline (doxorubicin) treatment and in 20 healthy controls. LV function was assessed by the LV ejection fraction and global longitudinal and circumferential strain. Both patient groups had received a similar dosage of radiation, and doxorubicin was given at a total dose of 309 ± 92 mg. The global longitudinal strain was reduced in patients receiving anthracycline with mediastinal radiotherapy compared to the other group receiving mediastinal radiotherapy alone or combined radiotherapy and regimens without anthracyclines (-16.1 ± 1.9% vs -17.5 ± 1.7%, respectively, p <0.05). Both patient groups had reduced strain compared to the healthy controls (-20.4 ± 1.7%, both p <0.001). The circumferential strain was also reduced in the treatment groups (-18.3 ± 3.2% and -17.8 ± 3.6% vs -22.5 ± 2.1%, both p <0.001). The LV ejection fraction did not differ between the patient groups (55 ± 8% vs 56 ± 6%, p = 1.0) but was reduced compared to that of the controls (62 ± 5%, both p <0.05). In conclusion, myocardial function was reduced in the survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma 2 decades after successful treatment consisting of mediastinal radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. Patients receiving anthracycline therapy had additional negative long-tem effects on LV systolic function.