Nuclear imaging in detection and monitoring of cardiotoxicity

Carmen D'Amore, Paola Gargiulo, Stefania Paolillo, Angela Maria Pellegrino, Tiziana Formisano, Antonio Mariniello, Giuseppe Della Ratta, Elisabetta Iardino, Marianna D'Amato, Lucia La Mura, Irma Fabiani, Flavia Fusco, Pasquale Perrone Filardi
World Journal of Radiology 2014 July 28, 6 (7): 486-92
Cardiotoxicity as a result of cancer treatment is a novel and serious public health issue that has a significant impact on a cancer patient's management and outcome. The coexistence of cancer and cardiac disease in the same patient is more common because of aging population and improvements in the efficacy of antitumor agents. Left ventricular dysfunction is the most typical manifestation and can lead to heart failure. Left ventricular ejection fraction measurement by echocardiography and multigated radionuclide angiography is the most common diagnostic approach to detect cardiac damage, but it identifies a late manifestation of myocardial injury. Early non-invasive imaging techniques are needed for the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiotoxic effects. Although echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance are the most commonly used imaging techniques for cardiotoxicity assessment, greater attention is focused on new nuclear cardiologic techniques, which can identify high-risk patients in the early stage and visualize the pathophysiologic process at the tissue level before clinical manifestation. The aim of this review is to summarize the role of nuclear imaging techniques in the non-invasive detection of myocardial damage related to antineoplastic therapy at the reversible stage, focusing on the current role and future perspectives of nuclear imaging techniques and molecular radiotracers in detection and monitoring of cardiotoxicity.


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