Background: Radiotherapy (RT) might lead to atherosclerotic plaque buildup and coronary artery stenosis of breast cancer (BC) survivors, and coronary artery calcium (CAC) might be a sign of preclinical atherosclerosis. This study explores possible determinants affecting the acceleration of CAC burden in BC patients after adjuvant RT. Methods: Female BC patients receiving adjuvant RT from 2002 to 2010 were included. All patients received noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) of thorax before and after adjuvant RT. Their CAC burden was compared with healthy controls from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort. The progression of the CAC burden was manifested by the increment of CAC percentiles (%CACinc). Results: Ninety-four patients, including both left- and right-side BC, were enrolled in this study. From undergoing the first to second NCCT, the %CACinc in BC patients significantly increased rather than non-BC women. In addition, the %CACinc was significantly higher in left-side than right-side BC patients (p < 0.05), and significant differences in most heart outcomes were found between the two groups. Besides, the lower the mean right coronary artery (RCA) dose, the lower the risks of CAC percentiles increase ≥ 50% after adjusting the disease's laterality. Conclusions: A significantly higher accelerated CAC burden in BC patients than non-BC women represents that BC could affect accelerated CAC. A higher risk of accelerated CAC burden was found in left-side than right-side BC patients after adjuvant RT. A decrease of the mean RCA dose could reduce more than 50% of the risk of accelerated CAC burden in BC patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging