Adult lymphoma survivors who were treated with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation had a greater than sixfold increased risk of left ventricular systolic dysfunction compared with controls, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Among 274 adult survivors of Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 16% had left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD): 11% had overt heart failure (HF) and 5% had asymptomatic LVSD, defined as a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 50%.Heart symptoms were significantly associated with exposure to doxorubicin at a cumulative dose of 300 mg/m2 or more and with cardiac radiation therapy of more than 30 Gy. Recognizing these patient risk factors allows for more intensive follow-up with the goal of “identification and early treatment of asymptomatic LVSD [which] may prevent the development of HF,” wrote Dr. Klaus Murbraech of Oslo University Hospital and his colleagues (J. Clin. Oncol. 2015 July 13 [doi:10.1200/JCO.2015.60.8125]).

The investigators observed no association between lower-dose cardiac radiation therapy and LVSD. There was only a marginally significant association between the presence of two or more traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and LVSD.

The cross-sectional multicenter cohort study is the first to assess the prevalence of LVSD, according to Dr. Murbraech and his colleagues. The study included adult survivors of Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, median age 56 years, who underwent autologous stem-cell transplants in Norway from 1987 to 2008. The median observation time was 13 years (range, 4-34 years). The control group consisted of initially healthy patients in an echocardiographic follow-up study. Controls were matched to patients based on age, sex, systolic blood pressure, and body mass index.

The study was supported by the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority and Extrastiftelsen. Dr. Murbraech reported having no disclosures.