Some Heart Failure Patients May Have an Underlying Condition Called Cardiac Amyloidosis

A recent article in the Northern Kentucky Tribune highlights a rare condition that has been exposed by new technology. Cardiologists have found that many patients diagnosed with heart failure are actually experiencing cardiac amyloidosis.

About Amyloidosis

Dr. Gaurang Vaidya is a cardiologist at Kentucky University HealthCare. Dr. Vaidya specializes in heart transplantation and heart failure.

The disease begins with the amyloid protein accumulating in the heart tissue disturbing its normal function. The abnormal protein causes the muscle in the heart to tighten. Since the muscles are not relaxed between beats, blood is prevented from flowing normally into the heart.

The two most prominent types are transthyretin (ATTR) amyloidosis and light chain amyloidosis (AL). Transthyretin deposits, which are produced in the liver, cause ATTR amyloidosis.

Then there are two ATTR subtypes, wild-type and hereditary amyloidosis.

People sixty years of age or older may be affected by wild-type amyloidosis. The second type, hereditary amyloidosis, runs in families as the name implies. It usually affects people aged forty or older. Although chemotherapy is used to treat hereditary amyloidosis, it is not categorized as a blood cancer.

Heart transplantation is the most effective treatment, but many patients do not qualify because of their age or medical history.

Making the distinction between heart failure or AL and ATTR is especially important because some medications that treat heart failure are harmful when administered to amyloidosis patients.

Prolonging Life

The new technologies used to treat cardiac amyloidosis have been successful in prolonging life as well as preserving the quality of life. Dr. Vaidya emphasizes the importance of early detection and starting medication as soon as possible.

UK HealthCare Cardiac Amyloidosis Clinic

 Patients with cardiac amyloidosis are treated at the clinic by clinicians who have experience with the disease. They also have experience with liver, kidney, or amyloidosis-related issues involving other organs.

Nurse coordinators at the clinic give support and guidance to patients throughout their care. If appropriate, the clinic will coordinate clinical trials for patients that investigate new therapies and analyze disease progression.

The clinic is also equipped with nuclear pyrophosphate scan technology that diagnoses cardiac amyloidosis with extreme accuracy.

Dr. Gaurang believes that diagnosis of this underlying condition will change the outcome for many heart patients.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email