Vascular and endothelial functions were investigated in long term survivors of childhood cancer exposed to anthracycline treatment. We enrolled 96 long-term survivors (57 males and 39 females, mean age 14.9 ± 5.3 year) of different childhood cancers and 72 age-, sex-, bodyweight- and blood pressure matched controls (39 males and 33 females, mean age 13.7 ± 4.9 year). Aortic stiffness was characterized by echocardiography. Brachial artery endothelial function was assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD%) and nitrate-mediated dilatation (NTG%). Results were compared between three subgroups: anthracycline treated, only chemotherapy treated and control subgroups. The cumulative anthracycline dose was less than 350 mg/m2. The healthy control subgroup had a significantly greater FMD response (13.13 ± 2.40 %), and lower stiffness index (2.08 ± 0.6) than both the anthracycline (7.12 ± 6.28 % and 6.45 ± 3.25, respectively) and only chemotherapy treated (10.17 ± 4.23 % and 4.12 ± 2.32, respectively) subgroups. In the anthracycline treated subgroup a significantly (p < 0.01) lower FMD% response, and higher stiffness index were detected than in the only chemotherapy treated subgroup. Higher triglyceride level, higher cumulative anthracycline dose and lower age at the start of treatment were found to be associated independently with impairment of FMD% response and aortic stiffness. We found a significant negative correlation between FMD and aortic stiffness (p < 0.001) and a positive correlation between FMD and distensibility (p < 0.0001) Childhood cancer long term survivors exposed to anthracycline treatment exhibit a marked preclinical vasculopathy, characterized by endothelial dysfunction and increased arterial stiffness, contributing to a deteriorated cardiovascular function.
- Childhood cancer
- Endothelial dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cancer Research