Radiotherapy in patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices: clinical and dosimetric aspects

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As a result of aging, the number of patients with cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) requiring radiotherapy (RT) continues to rise. The aim of this work was to evaluate RT-related malfunctions of CIED in a cohort of patients who underwent RT in our clinic from June 2010 to December 2016. We retrospectively analyzed 93 RT treatments in 63 patients with CIEDs. Patients were treated with 3D conformal RT, intensity-modulated RT and stereotactic RT. We collected clinical characteristics of cancer, models of CIEDs, total RT dose to tumor and radiation energy. Radiation dose delivered to CIED and its dysfunctions after RT was evaluated. Subgroup analysis of 48 RT treatments (32 patients) on chest and neck plus on 13 RT treatments (12 patients) with 18 MV neutron-producing photon energy considered as high risk was performed. The number of treatments of patients with CIEDs increased from 0.3% in 2011 to 1.2% in 2016. Two patients, treated with 18 MV photon beam, with implantable cardioverter–defibrillators (ICDs) that received a maximum dose of around 2.1 Gy, experienced adverse events: a reprogramming of ICD when the patient reached a delivered dose to the tumor of 32 Gy, and an altered sensing function requiring replacement after 11 months from the end of RT. Nearly 2% of patients with CIEDs from high-risk patients subgroup had experienced a damage of the device. Close cooperation between radiation oncologists, cardiologists, medical physicists and radiation technologists is needed to achieve the best practice management in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018


  • Cancer
  • Cardiac implantable electronic devices
  • Cardiac toxicity
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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