Utility of Echocardiography as Screening for Late-onset Anthracycline-induced Cardiotoxicity in Pediatric Cancer Survivors: Observations from the First Decade After End of Therapy

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Current screening guidelines are available for anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. However, the utility of echocardiogram screening for late-onset anthracycline cardiotoxicity especially in the decade immediately after end of therapy is debatable. A retrospective chart review of patients seen in the Thriving after Cancer Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital January 2006 to December 2013 was performed. Treatment data, echocardiogram results, cardiology referral notes and cardiac medication data were abstracted from anthracycline-exposed survivors. Descriptive and univariate comparative statistics were performed. Of 368 patients (45% female, median 5.3 y old at diagnosis [range 0 to 18.3], median 5.0 y from end of therapy [EOT] [range 0 to 18.2]), a total of 4 patients (10-year cumulative incidence after EOT 1.3%; 95% confidence interval, 0.1%-19.7%) required cardiac medication for late-onset cardiotoxicity (>1 y after EOT). Those requiring medication for late-onset cardiotoxicity were exposed to more anthracyclines than survivors without cardiotoxicity (median, 360 mg/m2 [range, 300 to 375 mg/m2] vs. 182 mg/m2 [range, 26 to 515 mg/m2], P=0.009). None had neck or chest radiation. In this population, medication initiation for late-onset anthracycline cardiotoxicity was limited predominantly to the first 3 years after EOT, with the next >13 years after EOT. These findings add to the growing body of literature assessing current guidelines to inform improvements in screening practices of survivorship providers.

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