Cardiac perfusion changes in patients treated for breast cancer with radiation therapy and doxorubicin: preliminary results.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: To determine the incidence and dose dependence of regional cardiac perfusion abnormalities in patients with left-sided breast cancer treated with radiation therapy (RT) with and without doxorubicin (Dox). METHODS: Twenty patients with left-sided breast cancer underwent cardiac perfusion imaging using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) prechemotherapy, pre-RT, and 6 months post-RT. SPECT perfusion images were registered onto 3-dimensional (3D) RT dose distributions. The volume of heart in the RT field was quantified, and the regional RT dose was calculated. A decrease in regional cardiac perfusion was assessed subjectively by visual inspection and objectively using image fusion software. Ten patients received Dox-based chemotherapy (total dose 120-300 mg/m(2)), and 10 patients had no chemotherapy. RT was delivered by tangent beams in all patients to a total dose of 46-50 Gy. RESULTS: Overall, 60% of the patients had new visible perfusion defects 6 months post-RT. A dose-dependent perfusion defect was seen at 6 months with minimal defect appreciated at 0-10 Gy, and a 20% decrease in regional perfusion at 41-50 Gy. One of 20 patients had a decrease in left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) of greater than 10% at 6 months; 2/20 patients had developed transient pericarditis. No instances of myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure (CHF) have occurred. CONCLUSIONS: RT causes cardiac perfusion defects 6 months post-RT in most patients. Long-term follow-up is needed to assess whether these perfusion changes are transient or permanent and to determine if these findings are associated with changes in overall cardiac function and clinical outcome.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hardenbergh, PH; Munley, MT; Bentel, GC; Kedem, R; Borges-Neto, S; Hollis, D; Prosnitz, LR; Marks, LB

Published Date

  • March 15, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1023 - 1028

PubMed ID

  • 11240243

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0360-3016

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0360-3016(00)01531-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States