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Cancer Treat Rev. 2011 Aug;37(5):391-403. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2010.12.004. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Screening Hodgkin lymphoma survivors for radiotherapy induced cardiovascular disease.

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Department of Internal Medicine, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.


Long term prognosis of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors is affected by late toxicity of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Cardiovascular complications of radiotherapy have been shown to have a great impact on the long term survival. The aim of this review is to summarize the available data on different screening modalities for cardiovascular disease and to suggest a screening program. Patients older than 45 years at HL diagnosis should be screened for coronary artery disease (CAD) starting 5 years after mediastinal radiotherapy; they are at increased risk of pre-existent atherosclerosis which can be accelerated by radiotherapy. Screening for CAD should start 10 years after radiotherapy in younger patients. The best screening modality for CAD is subject of discussion, based on the latest studies we suggest screening by Coronary artery calcium score measurements or CT-angiography. Valvular disorders should be looked for by echocardiography starting 10 years after radiotherapy. Electrocardiograms should be performed at each cardiovascular screening moment in order to detect arrhythmia's or conduction abnormalities. We suggest repeating these screening tests every 5 years or at onset of cardiovascular complaints; patients should be extensively instructed about signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease should be carefully monitored and treated. We suggest determining a cardiovascular risk profile at diagnosis of HL in patients older than 45 years. In case of a high risk, treating HL without RT should be considered.

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