JACC: CardioOncology Viewpoint Outlines Considerations For Safe CV Imaging During Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a reduction in cardiovascular imaging for cancer patients could help balance the risk of undetected cardiovascular disease and the risk of potential virus transmission, according to a Viewpoint published April 16 in JACC: CardioOncology.

Oscar Calvillo-Argüelles, MD, et al., outline considerations for safe imaging during the pandemic for patients receiving anthracyclines and trastuzumab with guidance on imaging before treatment begins, during treatment and following treatment "based upon available evidence, regarding the role of cardiac surveillance during the pandemic." Although cardiovascular imaging is a "pillar of cardio-oncology practice," there is a need to adjust approaches for each patient during the pandemic to "strike a balance" between early detection and prevention of cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD) and the risk of COVID-19 exposure, the authors write.

The authors prioritize which cardiovascular imaging tests should be performed and which should be postponed until the pandemic has slowed, noting that "careful monitoring of symptoms, cardiovascular risk factor modification and disease management should continue in all patients." In addition, clinicians should take precautions to minimize the risk of exposure for imaging performed during the pandemic, the authors note.

Finally, the authors stress that decisions to modify local practice patterns should involve cardiologists and oncologists and be individualized based on institutional and patient needs. "We believe that such approaches to reduce cardiac imaging during the COVID-19 pandemic will allow the cardio-oncology community to help in 'flattening the curve,'" the authors conclude.

Clinical Topics: Cardio-Oncology

Keywords: Anthracyclines, Coronavirus, COVID-19

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