Coronary and aortic calcification are associated with cardiovascular events on immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy

Walter B. Schiffer, Elena Deych, Daniel J. Lenihan, Kathleen W. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although the incidence of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-related cardiovascular (CV) toxicity is low, the overall burden of CV events after ICI is unknown. Risk factors for CV events after ICI have yet to be identified. Objectives: We sought to evaluate the association between vascular calcification on routine baseline computed tomography (CT) imaging and CV events following ICI. Method: This was a single-center, retrospective cohort study of 76 patients referred to Cardio-Oncology with prior ICI treatment. Coronary and aortic calcification on non-gated chest and abdominal CT imaging were qualitatively assessed. The association of baseline clinical parameters and vascular calcification with symptomatic heart failure (HF), acute coronary syndrome, myocarditis, symptomatic arrhythmia, or pericardial effusion after ICI was evaluated. Results: Over 11 months of follow-up, there were 80 CV events that occurred in 49 patients. Worse coronary and aortic calcification on pre-treatment CT imaging was seen in patients with a CV event (p =.018 and p =.014, respectively). There were no differences in traditional CV risk factors between those with and without a CV event. Eighteen patients (37%) were restarted on ICI therapy after a non- myocarditis or symptomatic systolic HF CV event without recurrent events or mortality over 13 months of follow-up. Conclusions: Symptomatic HF was the most common CV event seen after ICI therapy. Worse coronary and aortic calcification on baseline CT imaging was associated with CV events following ICI. With careful clinical evaluation, selected patients may be re-treated with ICI following a non- myocarditis or symptomatic systolic HF CV event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Volume322
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Keywords

  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart failure
  • Immunotherapy
  • Myocarditis
  • Pericardial disease

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