Cardiac perfusion changes in patients treated for breast cancer with radiation therapy and doxorubicin: preliminary results.
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.
Hardenbergh, PH; Munley, MT; Bentel, GC; Kedem, R; Borges-Neto, S; Hollis, D; Prosnitz, LR; Marks, LB
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