Cardiac function after hematopoietic cell transplantation: an echocardiographic cross-sectional study in young adults treated in childhood

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Jan;62(1):143-7. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25135. Epub 2014 Sep 22.


Background: Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) including preparative regimens with chemotherapy and total body irradiation (TBI) is an accepted treatment for many malignant disorders but may have side-effects for several organs, including the cardiovascular system. The aim of this study was to study very long-term consequences on cardiac function after childhood HCT.

Procedure: Cardiac function was evaluated using echocardiography and levels of NT-proBNP and growth hormone (GHmax) in 18 patients, at a median of 18 years after HCT including TBI, and in 18 matched controls.

Results: Patients after HCT had cardiac dimensions, volumes, and left ventricular ejection fractions within normal range after correction for body size. However, compared with the control group, patients after HCT had significantly lower E/A ratio, as a measure of left ventricular diastolic function, significantly lower fractional shortening and mitral annular plane systolic excursion, as measures of left ventricular systolic function, significantly lower tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, as a measure of right ventricular function, and significantly higher NT-proBNP, as a measure of total cardiac function. Also, pulmonary flow acceleration time was shorter in the group after HCT, indicating possible pulmonary involvement. Heart rate was significantly higher and GHmax significantly lower in patients after HCT.

Conclusions: Almost two decades after HCT, including preparative regimens with TBI, cardiac function in patients was found to be within normal range. However, when compared with a healthy control group, patients after HCT showed lower systolic and diastolic left ventricular function as well as lower right ventricular function.

Keywords: cardiac function; children; echocardiography; hematopoietic cell transplantation; total body irradiation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*
  • Ventricular Function, Right / physiology*
  • Young Adult