Late Cardiac Effects After Treatment for Childhood Hodgkins-Disease with Chemotherapy and Low-Dose Radiotherapy
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Twenty-four patients under 18 years when treated for Hodgkin's disease (20 male, four female) were examined no less than five years after the completion of the treatment. The mean age was 17 years (range 9.5-25.0 years) at the time of study. All patients received six courses of cyclophosphamide - oncovin - procarbazine prednisolone chemotherapy; in addition, nine patients received low-dose radiotherapy excluding the mediastinum and eight of 24 patients received mediastinal radiotherapy; the dose was between 20-30 Gy. All patients had normal cardiovascular findings on clinical examination. ECG and chest radiography were within normal limits in all patients. Resting left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening were decreased in only one patient (4%), but there was no significant difference between the patient group and a control group for left ventricular systolic function (p>0.05). In the patient group, early diastolic peak velocity, peak velocity at atrial contraction, left ventricular isovolumic relaxation time, and the rate of decrease of flow velocity in early diastole were significantly different from that of the control group (p<0.05). In conclusion, the late effects of our treatment proto col for Hodgkin's disease appear to be minimal. These observations support combined modality, low-dose irradiation regimens in children and adolescents and suggest the need for careful cardiac screening of treated patients.