heart disease (radiation-induced)

Last reviewed 01/2018

The heart may be damaged when it falls within the field of therapeutic irradiation.

Radiotherapy for mediastinal lymphoma and for the internal mammary nodes in carcinoma of the breast are the most common cause.

The complications include:

  • acute pericarditis
  • chronic serous pericardial effusions
  • constrictive pericarditis
  • ventricular fibrosis
  • occlusion of coronary arteries e.g. the right or left anterior descending
  • dilated cardiomyopathy