Coronary vasomotor dysfunction portends worse outcomes in patients with breast cancer

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 Nov 24. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02825-1. Online ahead of print.


Background: Impaired MFR in the absence of flow-limiting CAD is associated with adverse events. Cardiovascular disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with breast cancer. We sought to test the utility of MFR to predict outcomes in a cohort of patients with breast cancer.

Methods: We retrospectively studied consecutive patients with breast cancer or breast cancer survivors who underwent cardiac stress PET imaging from 2006 to 2017 at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Patients with a history of clinically overt CAD, LVEF < 45%, or abnormal myocardial perfusion were excluded. Subjects were followed from time of PET to the occurrence of a first major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) and all-cause death.

Results: The final cohort included 87 patients (median age 69.0 years, 98.9% female, mean MFR 2.05). Over a median follow-up of 7.6 years after PET, the lowest MFR tertile was associated with higher cumulative incidence of MACE (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio 4.91; 95% CI 1.68-14.38; p = 0.004) when compared with the highest MFR tertile.

Conclusions: In patients with breast cancer, coronary vasomotor dysfunction was associated with incident cardiovascular events. MFR may have potential as a risk stratification biomarker among patients with/survivors of breast cancer.

Keywords: Cancer survivorship; Cardio-oncology; Coronary artery calcium; Coronary microvascular disease; Myocardial flow reserve; Positron emission tomography.