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Background: Cancer treatment can lead to left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in female cancer survivors of reproductive age, and pregnancy-related hemodynamic stress may result in LV dysfunction or heart failure (HF). Objectives: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the incidence of LV systolic dysfunction or HF during or soon after pregnancy in cancer survivors and evaluated the impact of history of cancer therapeutics-related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD). Methods: We systematically searched electronic databases (MEDLINE and EMBASE) from inception to January 2020 to identify cohort studies that examined cardiac disease in pregnant cancer survivors. Meta-analysis was performed using the inverse-variance fixed effects method. Potential sources of heterogeneity were explored using subgroup analyses and meta-regression. Results: Of 13,782 identified articles, 6 studies consisting of 2,016 pregnancies, predominantly in childhood cancer survivors, were included. Overall, there were 33 cardiac events. The total weighted incidence of LV dysfunction or HF with pregnancy was 1.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.9% to 2.7%) overall; 28.4% (95% CI: 14.6% to 43.9%) in those with a history of CTRCD and 0.24% (95% CI: 0% to 0.81%) in those without, translating into an odds ratio of 47.4 (95% CI: 17.9 to 125.8). Interstudy heterogeneity was low (I2 = 17.5%). Metaregression did not reveal significant sources of heterogeneity. Conclusions: The incidence of LV dysfunction or HF during pregnancy in cancer survivors was low. Although risk estimates are limited by the small number of events, women with a history of CTRCD compared to those without had a 47.4-fold higher odds of experiencing pregnancy-related LV dysfunction or HF.

Original publication




Journal article


JACC CardioOncol

Publication Date





153 - 162


CTRCD, cancer therapeutics-related cardiac dysfunction, HF, heart failure, LV, left ventricle, LVEF, left ventricular ejection fraction, cancer survivors, cancer therapeutics-related cardiac dysfunction, cardiotoxicity, heart failure, pregnancy