Long-term systolic function in children and young adults after hematopoietic stem cell transplant
Congestive heart failure and subclinical left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) affect long-term survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Echocardiographic measurements of global longitudinal and circumferential strain have shown promise in identifying subclinical LVSD in cancer survivors. We analyzed echocardiograms in 95 children and young adults with malignancies or bone marrow failure syndromes performed before HSCT and 1-6 years after HSCT. We additionally measured the biomarkers soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2 (sST-2) and cardiac troponin-I (cTn-I) in the same children through 49 days post HSCT. Ejection fraction (EF) after HSCT was unchanged from baseline (baseline: z-score − 0.73 vs long-term follow up: − 0.44, P = 0.11). Global longitudinal strain was unchanged from baseline (−20.66 vs − 20.74%, P = 0.90) as was global circumferential strain (−24.3 vs − 23.5%, P = 0.32). Levels of sST-2 were elevated at all time points compared with baseline samples and cTn-I was elevated at days 14 and 28. Cardiac biomarkers at any time point did not correlate with long-term follow-up EF. In children and young adult survivors of HSCT, EF was unchanged in the first years after HSCT. Elevation in cardiac biomarkers occurring after HSCT suggest subclinical cardiac injury occurs in many patients and long-term monitoring for LVSD should continue.