Clinical and subclinical cardiac late effects in pediatric Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors

Carlo Materazzo, Maura Massimino, Elisabetta Schiavello, Marta Podda, Lorenza Gandola, Graziella Cefalo, Serena Catania, Cristina Meazza, Ivan Moschetti, Monica Terenziani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Cardiac late effects are responsible for a significant burden of mortality and morbidity among pediatric Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) survivors (HLS). The aim of our study was to assess clinical and subclinical cardiac sequelae in a cohort of childhood HLS treated in the 1980s with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (the ABVD regimen) and limited-field radiotherapy (RT). Methods: We retrospectively examined a series of HLS treated from 1979 to 1989. We searched for subtle cardiac abnormalities in a subgroup of asymptomatic individuals, who underwent rest and exercise echocardiography at least 20 years after completing their therapies. Their cardiac assessment included physical examination, electrocardiogram (ECG), and resting and postexercise echocardiograms. Results: On thorough cardiac assessment a mean of 21 years after their diagnosis, none of the 53 unselected asymptomatic HLS showed physical signs or significant ECG abnormalities during or after the stress echo test. Twenty-two (41%) of the 53 patients revealed valvular abnormalities, with mitral regurgitation in 28%, aortic regurgitation in 9%, and both in 4%. No significant myocardial dysfunction as a result of previous combined doxorubicin treatment and chest RT was identified. Only 2 individuals had mild pericardial alterations. Conclusions: The present study shows that long-term cardiac effects are common in HLS treated with the ABVD regimen and RT. The most frequent complications observed in this sample were essentially coronary artery disease and valvular abnormalities. None of the survivors in this sample showed overt congestive heart failure, a finding in contrast with larger studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-571
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Late effects
  • Pediatric cancer survivors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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