Aggressive mesothelioma treatment may put patients at high risk of heart failure

7 Jan 2014 by under News, Research/Treatment

pneumonectomy 100x100 Aggressive mesothelioma treatment may put patients at high risk of heart failureA new case study has revealed a possible connection between an aggressive treatment for and the risk of heart failure resulting from tension hydrothorax. Published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in its Heart Surgery Forum, the case involves a mesothelioma patient who underwent an extrapleural pneumonectomy ().

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly type of cancer resulting from asbestos exposure. It most often affects the lining of the lungs or abdomen, and may also rarely affect the lining of the heart. There is currently no known cure for mesothelioma.

Considered the riskiest and most radical form of surgical treatment for pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs, EPP involves removing the mesothelioma tumor, the entire pleural lining, all or part of the diaphragm, the nearest lung and some other tissues surrounding the affected site. EPP may also involve introducing chemotherapy into the pleural cavity. While extreme, EPP is considered to offer a significant survival benefit to mesothelioma patients.

Tension hydrothorax is an increase of pressure inside the chest cavity related to excess fluid. Fluid buildup in the thoracic (chest) cavity is a common side effect of mesothelioma. The case study noted that tension hydrothorax is “a rare complication of pneumonenctomy for pleural mesothelioma and an exceptionally rare cause of heart failure.” The patient who was the subject of the case study developed heart failure symptoms within months of EPP treatment that included chemotherapy and radiation.

Because of the nature of mesothelioma and its limited treatment options, this tiny risk of heart failure is probably outweighed by the potential benefits of EPP. However, the case study indicates that patients considering EPP should talk with their doctor about their particular medical history to weigh the risks and benefits. Also, the study draws attention to the fact that physicians need to monitor EPP patients for fluid buildup in the chest cavity and signs of heart failure following the procedure.

The study is Maquire, K, et al, “Heart Failure due to Tension Hydrothorax after Left Pneumonectomy”, December 1, 2013, Heart Surgery Forum, pp. 319-323.

Sources:

Surviving Mesothelioma /PRWEB
NCBI

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