Cardiac Angiosarcomas Risk of Brain Metastasis and Hemorrhage Warrants Frequent Surveillance Imaging and Early Intervention

Andrew J. Bishop, Jing Zheng, Aparna Subramaniam, Amol J. Ghia, Chenyang Wang, Susan L. McGovern, Shreyaskumar Patel, B. Ashleigh Guadagnolo, Devarati Mitra, Ahsan Farooqi, Michael J. Reardon, Betty Kim, Nandita Guha-Thakurta, Jing Li, Vinod Ravi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: We evaluated a cohort of patients with cardiac angiosarcomas (CA) who developed brain metastases (BM) to define outcomes and intracranial hemorrhage (IH) risk.

METHODS: We reviewed 26 consecutive patients with BM treated between 1988 and 2020 identified from a departmental CA (n=103) database. Causes of death were recorded, and a terminal hemorrhage (TH) was defined as an IH that caused death or prompted a transfer to hospice.

RESULTS: The prevalence of BM was 25% (n=26/103). A total of 23 patients (88%) had IH, including 21 (81%) at initial BM diagnosis, of which 18 (86%) required hospitalization. The median platelet count at the time of IH was 235k (interquartile range, 108 to 338k).Nearly all patients died of disease (n=23, 88%) and most patients died from TH (n=13, 57%). TH occurred at BM presentation in 6 (46%) patients, whereas 3 (23%) had TH from known but untreated lesions, 2 (15%) had continued uncontrolled IH during radiation therapy, and 2 (15%) from new BM. Platelet count <50k was not associated with TH (P=0.25).Subsequent IH occurred in 9 patients (35%), and importantly, no patients who completed radiation therapy (n=10) for BM died from TH.

CONCLUSION: Patients with CA frequently develop BM, and the risk of IH is high, resulting in an alarming rate of TH despite normal platelet counts. Therefore, early diagnosis and intervention are warranted. We recommend surveillance brain imaging, and importantly, once BM is detected, prompt local therapy is warranted to try and mitigate the risk of TH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • angiosarcoma
  • brain metastasis
  • cardiac
  • cardiac sarcoma
  • hemorrhage
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • radiation
  • terminal hemorrhage
  • Hemangiosarcoma/diagnostic imaging
  • Hemorrhage/etiology
  • Brain Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Prognosis
  • Humans
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Cohort Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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