Risk of coronary stenosis after adjuvant radiotherapy for breast cancer

A. K. Wennstig*, H. Garmo, L. Wadsten, B. Lagerqvist, I. Fredriksson, L. Holmberg, C. Blomqvist, G. Nilsson, M. Sund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) for breast cancer is associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease. We examined the risk of coronary artery stenosis in a large cohort of women with breast cancer receiving adjuvant RT. Methods: A cohort of women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1992 and 2012 in three Swedish health care regions (n = 57,066) were linked to the Swedish Coronary Angiography and Angioplasty Registry (SCAAR) to identify women receiving RT who subsequently underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) due to coronary stenosis. Cox regression analyses were performed to examine risk of a coronary intervention and competing risk analyses were performed to calculate cumulative incidence. Results: A total of 649 women with left-sided breast cancer and 494 women with right-sided breast cancer underwent a PCI. Women who received left-sided RT had a significantly higher risk of a PCI in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) compared to women who received right-sided RT, hazard ratio (HR) 1.44 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21–1.77, p < 0.001). For the proximal, mid, and distal LAD, the HRs were 1.60 (95% CI 1.22–2.10), 1.38 (95% CI 1.07–1.78), and 2.43 (95% CI 1.33–4.41), respectively. The cumulative incidence of coronary events at 25 years from breast cancer diagnosis were 7.0% in women receiving left-sided RT and 4.4% in women receiving right-sided RT. Conclusion: Implementing and further developing techniques that lower cardiac doses is important in order to reduce the risk of long-term side effects of adjuvant RT for breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-638
Number of pages9
JournalStrahlentherapie Und Onkologie
Issue number7
Early online date7 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Ischemic heart disease
  • LAD (left anterior descending artery)
  • PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention)
  • Side effects
  • Survivorship


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