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Very recently, the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) published recommendations on the COVID-19 pandemic and cardiac imaging1. This paper states key points on indications for echocardiography and cleaning, disinfection, and protection of equipment, facilities and healthcare personnel.
But at the time of writing (15.04.2020) there are no data from either retrospective or prospective studies addressing the issue of echocardiography for cardiotoxicity screening in cancer patients receiving potentially cardiotoxic cancer therapies (for example anthracycline chemotherapy, trastuzumab, VEGF TKIs)2 in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
As a consequence, it is impossible to provide formal guidance or an official statement about this topic.
Below, however, is the consensus opinion of experts from the ESC Council of Cardio-Oncology.
In an acute care situation, echocardiography should be performed as required in any cardiac emergency both in cancer patients and the general population, (e.g. suspected cardiac tamponade, acute coronary syndrome, acute heart failure).
In all patients undergoing cancer treatment, specific indications where transthoracic echocardiography should be considered include:
Specific studies regarding the role of echocardiography in cancer patients receiving cardiotoxic cancer therapies during a viral pandemic such as COVID-19 are required to guide care pathways in future.
Postponing or neglecting any required appropriate care because of the COVID-19 pandemic may result in increased event rates and must be very carefully considered.
Dr. Riccardo Asteggiano, MD, Chair of the Council
and the Board of the Council of Cardio-Oncology of the ESC
Our mission: To reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.
© 2020 European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.