Screening for coronary artery disease after mediastinal irradiation in Hodgkin lymphoma survivors: phase II study of indication and acceptance†

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Abstract

Background

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common nonmalignant cause of death in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors, especially after mediastinal irradiation. We investigated the role of computed tomographic coronary angiography (CTA) as a screening tool for coronary artery disease (CAD) in asymptomatic HL survivors, and related CTA findings to exercise testing and subsequent interventions.

Patients and methods

Patients were eligible for this phase II study if at least 10 years disease-free and treated with mediastinal radiotherapy. Screening consisted of electrocardiogram, exercise testing and CTA. Primary end point was significant CAD (stenosis >50%) on CTA. CTA screening was considered to be indicated for testing in a larger population if ≥6 of 50 CTA scanned patients (12%) would need revascularization. Screening was evaluated with a questionnaire before and after screening.

Results

Fifty-two patients were included, and 48 patients underwent CTA. Median age was 47 years, time since HL diagnosis 21 years. There were 45 evaluable scans. Significant CAD on CTA was found in 20% (N = 9), significantly increased compared with the 7% expected abnormalities (P = 0.01, 95% confidence interval 8.3% to 31.7%). In 11% (N = 5), significant stenosis was confirmed at coronary angiography, and revascularization was carried out. Additionally, two patients were treated with optimal medical therapy. Ninety percent of patients were content with screening, regardless whether the CTA showed abnormalities.

Conclusions

Prevalence of significant CAD among HL survivors is high, while asymptomatic even in the presence of life-threatening CAD. This might justify screening by CTA in asymptomatic HL survivors who had mediastinal radiotherapy, but needs to be evaluated in a larger cohort. The trial protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the LUMC and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01271127.

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