Coronary artery calcium in breast cancer survivors after radiation therapy

Coronary artery calcium in breast cancer survivors after radiation therapy The purpose of the current study is to investigate whether breast cancer survivors after radiation therapy have a higher burden of coronary artery calcium as a potential surrogate of radiation-induced accelerated coronary artery disease. 333 patients were included. 54 patients underwent chest CT ≥ 6 months after the start of radiation therapy (radiation therapy group), while 279 patients had a CT scan either prior to or without undergoing radiation therapy (RT). Coronary artery calcium was quantified from CT by applying a threshold-based automated algorithm. Mean age at diagnosis was similar (p = 0.771) between RT (57.4 ± 13.1 years) and NoRT (58.0 ± 11.9 years). Median time between radiation therapy and CT was 2 years. The groups showed no significant differences in race, smoking history, cancer laterality, or cancer stage. 39 (72.2%) of RT patients had a coronary artery calcium score of 0, compared to 201 (72.0%) in patients without radiation therapy. Median coronary artery calcium burden for both groups was not significantly different (p = 0.982), nor when comparing patients who underwent left- versus right-sided radiation therapy (p = 0.453). When adjusting for the time between diagnosis and CT, radiation therapy patients had a significantly lower risk of a positive coronary artery calcium score. In conclusion, breast cancer survivors after radiation therapy are not more likely to show coronary artery calcium on follow-up CT imaging. Our results thus do not support radiation-induced accelerated coronary artery disease as an explanation for higher rates of heart disease in this group. The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging Springer Journals

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Springer Netherlands
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Medicine & Public Health; Cardiology; Imaging / Radiology; Cardiac Imaging
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