A Retrospective Evaluation of Risk of Peripartum Cardiac Dysfunction in Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Malignancies

Cancers (Basel). 2019 Jul 24;11(8):1046. doi: 10.3390/cancers11081046.


Long-term survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult (AYA) malignancies with past exposure to potentially cardiotoxic treatments are at risk of peripartum cardiac dysfunction. Incidence and risk factors for peripartum cardiac dysfunction and maternal cardiac outcomes in this population were investigated. Eligible long-term survivors were aged <30 years at cancer diagnosis, with ≥1 pregnancy occurring ≥5 years after diagnosis. "Peripartum" cardiac events were defined as occurring within pregnancy or ≤5months after delivery. Cardiac events were classified "symptomatic" or "subclinical". "Peripartum cardiomyopathy" (PPCM) was defined as symptomatic dysfunction without prior cardiac dysfunction. Of 64 eligible women, 5 (7.8%) had peripartum cardiac events: 3 symptomatic, 2 subclinical. Of 110 live births, 2 (1.8%, 95% CI 0.2-6.4) were defined as PPCM: Significantly greater than the published general population incidence of 1:3000 (p < 0.001), representing a 55-fold (95% CI 6.6-192.0) increased risk. Risk factor analyses were hypothesis-generating, revealing younger age at cancer diagnosis and higher anthracycline dose. Postpartum, cardiac function of 4 women (80%) failed to return to baseline. In conclusion, peripartum cardiac dysfunction is an uncommon but potentially serious complication in long-term survivors of paediatric and AYA malignancies previously treated with cardiotoxic therapies. Peripartum cardiac assessment is strongly recommended for at-risk patients.

Keywords: anthracycline cardiotoxicity; cardiac dysfunction; late effects; long-term survivors; malignancy; peripartum cardiomyopathy; pregnancy; radiotherapy.