Contemporary Role of Echocardiography for Clinical Decision Making in Patients During and After Cancer Therapy

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Early recognition of cancer therapy–related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD) provides an opportunity to mitigate cardiac injury and risk of developing late cardiac events. Echocardiography serves as the cornerstone in the detection and surveillance of CTRCD in patients during and after cancer therapy. Guidelines from professional societies and regulatory agencies have been published on approaches to surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of CTRCD, although adoption as standard of care remains limited given the lack of evidence on the prognostic value of asymptomatic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in the oncology population. The frequency of cardiac monitoring and the appropriateness of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–recommended cardiac monitoring schedule in all patients receiving trastuzumab for breast cancer has been challenged. Interruption versus continuation of oncological therapy in the setting of asymptomatic LV dysfunction remains a clinical conundrum given the uncertain balance of the risk of cardiac dysfunction and benefit of oncology efficacy. Despite their limitations, echocardiographic measures of LV function continue to play a pivotal role in clinical decision making, with global longitudinal strain emerging as a promising tool in informing and facilitating the selection of cancer treatment and optimizing cardiovascular outcomes. This review highlights the key recommendations of the existing guidelines and discusses recent developments in cardio-oncology imaging practices with the aim of providing practical guidance on the role and use of echocardiography in challenging clinical cases in cardio-oncology.




Liu, J., Banchs, J., Mousavi, N., Plana, J. C., Scherrer-Crosbie, M., Thavendiranathan, P., & Barac, A. (2018, August 1). Contemporary Role of Echocardiography for Clinical Decision Making in Patients During and After Cancer Therapy. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. Elsevier Inc.

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