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Cardiac Amyloidosis: Diagnosis and Treatment Strategies.


Cardiac amyloidosis in the United States is most often due to myocardial infiltration by immunoglobulin protein, such as in AL amyloidosis, or by the protein transthyretin, such as in hereditary and senile amyloidosis. Cardiac amyloidosis often portends a poor prognosis especially in patients with systemic AL amyloidosis. Despite better understanding of the pathophysiology of amyloid, many patients are still diagnosed late in the disease course. This review investigates the current understanding and new research on the diagnosis and treatment strategies in patients with cardiac amyloidosis. Myocardial amyloid infiltration distribution occurs in a variety of patterns. Structural and functional changes on echocardiography can suggest presence of amyloid, but CMR and nuclear imaging provide important complementary information on amyloid burden and the amyloid subtype, respectively. While for AL amyloid, treatment success largely depends on early diagnosis, for ATTR amyloid, new investigational agents that reduce production of transthyretin protein may have significant impact on clinical outcomes. Advancements in the non-invasive diagnostic detection and improvements in early disease recognition will undoubtedly facilitate a larger proportion of patients to receive early therapy when it is most effective.

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