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Exercise stress echocardiography and layer-specific strains are emerging as important tools for cardiac assessment. This study was aimed to evaluate layer-specific strains and torsion parameters during exercise in order to investigate the characteristics of cardiac dysfunction in patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot and to detect subclinical left ventricular dysfunction.
Materials and Methods:
Thirteen patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (median age, 17.3 [interquartile range, 14.5–22.9] years; 6 males) and 13 controls (median age, 28.5 [interquartile range, 27.6–31.6] years; 13 males) underwent echocardiography at rest and during supine exercise. Layer-specific longitudinal strain and circumferential strain of three myocardial layers (endocardium, midmyocardium, and epicardium), torsion, and untwisting rate were measured using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography.
Peak endocardial papillary circumferential strain (−21.1 ± 2.6% vs. −25.8 ± 3.8%, p = 0.007), midmyocardial apical circumferential strain (−11.1 ± 4.0% vs. −15.6 ± 3.2%, p = 0.001), epicardial apical circumferential strain (−11.1 ± 4.0% vs. −15.6 ± 3.2%, p = 0.021), and torsion (8.9 ± 6.0 vs. 14.9 ± 4.8 degree, p = 0.021) were significantly lower in the repaired tetralogy of Fallot group than in the control group during exercise, though no significant difference was found between patients and controls at rest.
Analysis of layer-specific strains and torsion parameters during exercise could detect subclinical left ventricular dysfunction in patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot, which might reflect potential myocardial damage, at a stage where these parameters have normal values at rest. This finding provides new insight into the mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction in patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot.
Late adverse effects following radiation therapy for prostate cancer involve the urinary and lower gastrointestinal tracts, with continuous rectal bleeding being the most serious issue. We focused on late adverse effects, particularly rectal bleeding after volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer.
Materials and Methods
Seventy-three patients with localized prostate cancer were treated with radiation therapy using VMAT with an image-guided radiation therapy system. Patient age at the start of irradiation ranged from 54 to 81 years (median, 71 years). The follow-up period ranged from 23 to 87 months (median, 57 months). The prescribed total irradiation dose was 76 Gy in 38 fractions.
Late rectal bleeding was observed in 14 (19%) patients, with nine (12.3%), four (5.5%), and one (1.4%) being classified as grades 1, 2, and 3, respectively. One grade 3 patient with rectal bleeding had severe diabetes and was administered intravenous warfarin for cardiomyopathy.
VMAT may provide better accuracy and involve fewer time constraints for patients compared with other intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) methods. The incidence of late rectal bleeding in VMAT is almost equivalent to that of other IMRT methods.
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