(HealthDay News) – About one-quarter of adult survivors of childhood cancer who received chest-directed radiation therapy (RT) have increased tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRV), according to research published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Gregory T. Armstrong, MD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional assessment involving 498 adult survivors of childhood cancer (median age, 38 years; median time from primary diagnosis, 27.3 years) to examine the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension, a late effect of cancer therapy.

The researchers found that 25.2% of survivors who received chest-directed RT and 30.8% of those who received >30Gy had increased TRV. Increased TRV correlated with increasing dose of RT, body mass index >40kg/m², and aortic valve regurgitation, in multivariate analysis. The odds of severe functional limitation on a six-minute walk were significantly increased for those with TRV >2.8m/s vs. those with a TRV ≤2.8ms/s (odds ratio, 5.2).

“In conclusion, we identified an increased prevalence of TRV >2.8m/s, which may indicate pulmonary hypertension, in a large, well-characterized population of childhood cancer survivors,” the authors write. “Increased risk was associated with chest-directed RT exposure, potentially mediated through both cardiac and pulmonary dysfunction.”

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