Cancer survivors with prior chest radiation therapy (CXRT) frequently present with atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and have higher overall long-term mortality. There are no data examining the utility of left atrial (LA) and LA appendage (LAA) volume-indices to predict clinical outcomes in these patients.
We examined the prognostic value of cardiac phase-dependent 3-D volume-rendered cardiac computerized tomography (CT)-derived LA and LAA volume-indices to predict mortality and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in cancer survivors treated with thoracic irradiation.
We screened 625 consecutive patients with severe aortic stenosis who had undergone transcatheter aortic valve replacement from 2012 to 2017. Based on the gated cardiac CT image quality, we included 184 patients (CXRT:43, non-CXRT:141) for further analysis. We utilized multiplane-3D-reconstructed cardiac CT images to calculate LA and LAA volume-indices, and examined the prognostic role of CCT-derived LA and LAA volume-indices in predicting the all-cause mortality, cardiovascular (CV) mortality, and MACE. We used multivariate cox-proportional hazard analysis to identify the clinical predictors of survival.
Overall, the CXRT group had significantly elevated LAA volume-index compared to non-CXRT group (CXRT:11.2 ± 8.9 ml/m; non-CXRT:8.6 ± 4.5 ml/m, p = 0.03). On multivariate cox-proportional hazard analysis, the elevated LAA volume and LAA volume-index were the strongest predictors of reduced survival in CXRT group compared to non-CXRT group (LAA volume: RR = 1.03,95% CI 1.0-1.01, p = 0.01; and LAA volume index: RR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.0-1.01, p = 0.03). LAA volume > 21.9 ml was associated with increased mortality. In contrast, LA volume was not a significant predictor of mortality.
We describe a novel technique to assess LA and LAA volume using 3-D volume-rendered cardiac CT. This study shows enlarged LAA volume rather than LA volume carries a poor prognosis in cancer-survivors treated with prior CXRT. Compared to conventionally reported markers, LAA volume of > 21.9 ml was incremental to that of other risk factors.

© 2023. The Author(s).