BACKGROUND - The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend consideration of the use of echocardiography 6 to 12 months after completion of anthracycline-based chemotherapy in at-risk populations. Assessment of BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) has also been suggested by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/Heart Failure Society of America for the identification of Stage A (at risk) heart failure patients. The real-world frequency of the use of these tests in patients after receipt of anthracycline therapy, however, has not been studied previously.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In this retrospective study, using administrative claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, we identified 31 447 breast cancer and lymphoma patients (age ≥18 years) who were treated with an anthracycline in the United States between January 1, 2008 and January 31, 2018. Continuous medical and pharmacy coverage was required for at least 6 months before the initial anthracycline dose and 12 months after the final dose. Only 36.1% of patients had any type of cardiac surveillance (echocardiography, BNP, or cardiac imaging) in the year following completion of anthracycline therapy (29.7% echocardiography). Surveillance rate increased from 37.5% in 2008 to 42.7% in 2018 (25.6% in 2008 to 40.5% echocardiography in 2018). Lymphoma patients had a lower likelihood of any surveillance compared with patients with breast cancer (odds ratio, 0.79 [95% CI, 0.74-0.85]; <0.001). Patients with preexisting diagnoses of coronary artery disease and arrhythmia had the highest likelihood of cardiac surveillance (odds ratio, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.39-1.69] and odds ratio, 1.42 [95% CI, 1.3-1.53]; <0.001 for both), although no single comorbidity was associated with a >50% rate of surveillance.
CONCLUSIONS - The majority of survivors of breast cancer and lymphoma who have received anthracycline-based chemotherapy do not undergo cardiac surveillance after treatment, including those with a history of cardiovascular comorbidities, such as heart failure.