From the Journals

HF unlikely in pregnant cancer survivors without history of cardiotoxicity



The risk of adverse cardiac events in female cancer survivors during pregnancy is low unless there is a history of cardiotoxicity, according to Shiying Liu, MD, of the University of Toronto, and her associates.

Pregnant woman having her blood pressure taken ©Jupiterimages/

In a research letter published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Liu and her associates reported on a retrospective chart review of 78 women with 94 pregnancies who had previously received cancer therapy who were seen at Mount Sinai Hospital between 2005 and 2015. Of these, 15 pregnancies occurred in 13 women with a prior history of cardiotoxicity. The primary outcome was a composite of cardiac events including cardiac death, heart failure (HF), acute coronary syndrome, and sustained arrhythmia.

HF occurred during five pregnancies in four women; no other adverse cardiac events occurred during the study period. All four of the women who experienced HF had a history of cardiotoxicity. There was no difference in age at cancer diagnosis, age at pregnancy, cancer type, or exposure to anthracyclines between those who did and did not experience HF, but women who developed HF were more likely to have left ventricular systolic dysfunction at the first antenatal visit (75% vs. 8%; P = .004) and to be on cardiac medications (50% vs. 8%; P = .026).

“The risk of developing [HF] during pregnancy is rare in female cancer survivors without a history of cardiotoxicity. These women can be reassured that they are at a very low risk of developing [HF] during pregnancy. Women who have a history of cardiotoxicity have an approximately one in three chance of developing [HF] during pregnancy and should receive close cardiac surveillance during pregnancy at a center with expertise in cardiac disease in pregnancy,” the authors concluded.

Coauthor Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan, MD, reported support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award. None of the other authors had any relevant financial disclosures.

SOURCE: Liu S et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 Oct 15. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.07.085.

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