Cardio-oncology Part II: the monitoring, prevention, detection and treatment of chemotherapeutic cardiac toxicity

Meabh O'Hare, Katie Murphy, Farouk Mookadam, Ashwini Sharma, Howard Lee
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 2015, 13 (5): 519-27
Cancer treatment has advanced in recent years with new drugs, complex regimes and multiple modalities of treatment; which has improved survival of cancer patients. Cardiotoxicity from chemotherapy is an emerging, important issue. Currently, echocardiographic evaluation of ejection fraction is the most commonly employed diagnostic tool for detecting chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity. However, novel echocardiographic techniques assessing myocardial mechanics using strain imaging can detect earlier changes. New imaging techniques and biomarkers can risk stratify patients to identify those requiring closer monitoring. Cardiologists collaborating with oncologists can detect and treat cardiovascular chemotherapeutic complications earlier, reducing morbidity and mortality. While cardiac MRI and multigated acquisition nuclear scanning are alternatives, echocardiography has become the mainstream for assessing cardiac function due to its portability, efficiency and low cost. Current recommendations regarding cardiac monitoring of cancer patients are based on expert consensus opinion. There is a need for prospective controlled trials to support specific guidelines.


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