Cardiovascular Evaluation of Children With Malignancies

Jyothsna Akam-Venkata, James Galas, Sanjeev Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The anthracycline (AC) group of drugs is widely used for cancer chemotherapy and has improved outcomes in many childhood malignancies. However, cardiovascular complications are major causes of morbidity and mortality in AC recipients, with the greatest risk factor being a higher cumulative dosage. The purpose of this review is to describe the etio-pathogenesis and risk factors of AC induced cardiotoxicity, with emphasis on currently available and emerging modalities of non-invasive imaging in its surveillance, and to review guidelines on its prevention and treatment. Recent findings: Presently, ejection fraction and shortening fraction derived from two-dimensional echocardiography are the most widely used parameter for monitoring of cardiac function in childhood cancer survivors. The newer speckle tracking echocardiography has shown potential to detect abnormalities in ventricular function prior to the conventional measures such as ejection fraction and shortening fraction. When available, three-dimensional echocardiography should be used as it allows for more accurate estimation of ejection fraction. Newer magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as delayed enhancement and T1 mapping, are useful adjuncts for cardiac evaluation in cancer survivors, especially in patients with poor echocardiographic windows. Summary: Early detection and management of cardiovascular diseases is one of the major goals in the long-term follow-up of childhood cancer survivors. In addition to conventional two-dimensional echocardiography, newer techniques such as speckle tracking echocardiography and three-dimensional echocardiography should be incorporated due to its ability to detect early changes in anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. However further research are needed to guide changes in management due to abnormalities in speckle tracking echocardiography.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Ejection fraction
  • Pediatric congenital heart disease anthracycline


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiovascular Evaluation of Children With Malignancies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this