Radiation-induced cardiac dysfunction is a critical healthcare concern facing survivors of thoracic cancers treated with radiation therapy. Despite cardiac-sparing advances in radiation therapy delivery, many patients with thoracic cancers receiving modern radiation therapy will still have incidental radiation exposure to the heart. Therefore, it is imperative that cardiovascular healthcare providers take appropriate measures to prevent, screen, and manage radiation-induced cardiac dysfunction in patients with a history of thoracic radiation therapy. In this review, we aim to provide healthcare providers with foundational information about radiation-induced cardiac pathophysiology and a chronology of advances in radiation technology. Subsequently, we provide an up-to-date review of treatment- and host-related factors that can influence a patient’s risk for radiation-induced cardiac dysfunction. Finally, we culminate our discussion by detailing current screening and management guidelines to aid healthcare providers in caring for their patients with a history of thoracic radiation therapy.
- cardiovascular disease
- radiation-induced cardiac dysfunction