Cardiovascular Burden and Adverse Events in Patients With Esophageal Cancer Treated With Chemoradiation for Curative Intent

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to characterize the cardiovascular disease (CVD) profile and describe the incidence and characteristics of cardiovascular (CV) events in patients with esophageal cancer (EC) following chemoradiation and surgery. Background: Underlying CVD is a concern in patients with EC receiving curative treatment with chemoradiation and surgery. Methods: Consecutive patients with EC referred for curative treatment were enrolled. Clinical CVD status, ongoing CVD treatment, cardiac function, and physical performance were assessed before chemoradiation. During a 90-day follow-up period, all CV events were noted and classified after in-depth medical record review. CV events were defined by major adverse CV events (transient ischemic attack, imaging-verified new stroke, unstable angina, heart failure or cardiomyopathy) or by Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade ≥3 (arrhythmia, thromboembolic events, or pericardial effusion requiring pericardiocentesis). Results: Among 55 patients enrolled (median age 67 years; range: 50-86 years; 89% men), 22% had CVD prior to chemoradiation, and 11% with pre-existing CVD were inadequately treated according to current CV guidelines. Thirteen patients (24%) developed 15 events during follow-up. Pre-existing atrial fibrillation and a dilated left atrium were significantly associated with subsequent CV events. Left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction was frequently noted; 51% had impaired LV global longitudinal strain (<18%), and 16% had LV ejection fraction <50%. Conclusions: A systematic cardiac evaluation prior to chemoradiation in patients with EC revealed a high prevalence of undetected CVD, inadequately treated pre-existing CVD, and a high incidence of CV events after chemoradiation. These findings highlight the need for a systematic baseline cardiac examination in patients with EC to optimize CVD treatment. (Impact of Cancer Therapy on Myocardial Function in Patients With Esophagus Cancer [Heartcheck]; NCT03619317)

Original languageEnglish
JournalJACC: CardioOncology
Pages (from-to)711-721
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    Research areas

  • cardiac function, cardiovascular disease, chemoradiation, esophageal cancer

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