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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Cardiology

Advisor

Nancy Reid

Abstract

Heart failure has proven to be a major health problem in the United States contributing to significant morbidity and mortality among patients aged 65 and older. As one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions for patients over the age of 65, HF is estimated to affect 5.8 million people in the United States. Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is one form of restrictive cardiomyopathy that can cause HF. Considered a rare condition but known cause of HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), CA is typically diagnosed in late stages and carries a poor prognosis. The majority of patients affected by CA have either immunoglobulin light chain (AL) or amyloid transthyretin (ATTR) and the treatment of the disease is dictated by the specific type and degree of cardiac involvement. Early disease recognition and diagnosis, along with timely referral and treatment is essential to improved outcomes. The ability to utilize advanced cardiac imaging for non-invasive diagnosis, the availability of new and improved treatment options and the renewed interest in CA, has made this an exciting time in the world of cardiology and heart failure management. This review will discuss the pathophysiology, clinical presentation and diagnostic approach to cardiac amyloidosis, with a focus on utilizing non-invasive cardiac imaging to achieve early diagnosis. The aim is to increase clinical awareness of the disease prevalence and provide a clearly defined diagnostic algorithm to improve time from symptom onset to diagnosis.

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