Cardiac imaging methods for chemotherapy-related cardiotoxicity screening and related radiation exposure: Current practice and trends

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Background: Radiation exposure is a serious concern with usage of serial multigated acquisition (MUGA) scans (7.8mSv/study) for chemotherapy-related cardiotoxicity (CRC) screening. The current practice with respect to the imaging modalities chosen for cardiotoxicity screening and related radiation exposure has not been studied. Materials and Methods: We performed a serial cross-sectional study from 2011 to 2014, evaluating the relative usage of the three imaging modalities for CRC screening. Results: MUGA scan usage decreased from 30.4% to 16.7%, echocardiogram (Echo) utilization increased from 68.7% to 80.4% and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) usage increased from 0.9% to 2.9% in the 4-year period. Estimated total radiation exposure and secondary cancer risk can increase significantly in certain subgroups when MUGA scan is employed for serial cardiac imaging. Conclusion: Increased awareness of radiation risks from MUGA, as well as increasing focus on early detection of cardiotoxicity using Echo and CMR, are possible reasons behind the observed trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2445-2449
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017



  • Chemotherapy-related cardiotoxicity
  • MUGA scan
  • Modalities for cardiotoxicity screening
  • Radiation exposure
  • Secondary cancer risk

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