Multimodality imaging in cardiooncology


Aurora Advanced Healthcare, Aurora Cardiovascular Services, Aurora Sinai/Aurora St. Luke's Medical Centers


Cardiotoxicity represents a rising problem influencing prognosis and quality of life of chemotherapy-treated patients. Anthracyclines and trastuzumab are the drugs most commonly associated with development of a cardiotoxic effect. Heart failure, myocardial ischemia, hypertension, myocarditis, and thrombosis are typical manifestation of cardiotoxicity by chemotherapeutic agents. Diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac side-effects of cancer treatment is of paramount importance. Echocardiography and nuclear medicine methods are widely used in clinical practice and left ventricular ejection fraction is the most important parameter to asses myocardial damage secondary to chemotherapy. However, left ventricular ejection decrease is a delayed phenomenon, occurring after a long stage of silent myocardial damage that classic imaging methods are not able to detect. New imaging techniques including three-dimensional echocardiography, speckle tracking echocardiography, and cardiac magnetic resonance have demonstrated high sensitivity in detecting the earliest alteration of left ventricular function associated with future development of chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy. Early diagnosis of cardiac involvement in cancer patients can allow for timely and adequate treatment management and the introduction of cardioprotective strategies.

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