Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis

Abstract

Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (ATTR-CA) is an increasingly recognized cause of heart failure (HF) and mortality worldwide. Advances in non-invasive diagnosis, coupled with the development of effective treatments, have shifted ATTR-CA from a rare and untreatable disease to a relatively prevalent condition that clinicians should consider on a daily basis. Amyloid fibril formation results from age-related failure of homoeostatic mechanisms in wild-type ATTR (ATTRwt) amyloidosis (non-hereditary form) or destabilizing mutations in variant ATTR (ATTRv) amyloidosis (hereditary form). Longitudinal large-scale studies in the United States suggest an incidence of cardiac amyloidosis in the contemporary era of 17 per 100 000, which has increased from a previous estimate of 0.5 per 100 000, which was almost certainly due to misdiagnosis and underestimated. The presence and degree of cardiac involvement is the leading cause of mortality both in ATTRwt and ATTRv amyloidosis, and can be identified in up to 15% of patients hospitalized for HF with preserved ejection fraction. Associated features, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can preceed by several years the development of symptomatic HF and may serve as early disease markers. Echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance raise suspicion of disease and might offer markers of treatment response at a myocardial level, such as extracellular volume quantification. Radionuclide scintigraphy with ‘bone’ tracers coupled with biochemical tests may differentiate ATTR from light chain amyloidosis. Therapies able to slow or halt ATTR-CA progression and increase survival are now available. In this evolving scenario, early disease recognition is paramount to derive the greatest benefit from treatment

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