Radiotherapy of thoracic and chest wall tumors, if all or part of the heart was included in the radiation field, can lead to radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD), a late and potentially severe side effect. RIHD presents clinically several years after irradiation and manifestations include accelerated atherosclerosis, pericardial and myocardial fibrosis, conduction abnormalities, and injury to cardiac valves. The pathogenesis of RIHD is largely unknown, and a treatment is not available. Hence, ongoing pre-clinical studies aim to elucidate molecular and cellular mechanisms of RIHD. Here, an overview of recent pre-clinical studies is given, and based on the results of these studies, potential targets for intervention in RIHD are discussed.
Keywords: Radiation, heart, animal models, transforming growth factor-beta, renin-angiotensin system, mast cells, endothelin system, sensory nerves, models, transforming, angiotensin, endothelin, sensory, (RIHD), atherosclerosis, pericardial, myocardial fibrosis, pathogenesis, (myocardial necrosis, (PET), (SPECT), (RAS), Endothelial dysfunction, chemokines, TGF-β, mRNA, (Ang II), ACE, Captopril, (Ws), (CGRP), (TNF-α), IGF-1, (MMP), ETA, ETB