[Cardiac amyloidosis]

Caroline Hoyer, Christiane E Angermann, Stefan Knop, Georg Ertl, Stefan Störk
Medizinische Klinik 2008 March 15, 103 (3): 153-60
Amyloidoses are a heterogeneous group of multisystem disorders, which are characterized by an extracellular deposition of amyloid fibrils. Typically affected are the heart, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. More than half of the patients die due to cardiac involvement. Clinical signs of cardiac amyloidosis are edema of the lower limbs, hepatomegaly, ascites and elevated jugular vein pressure, frequently in combination with dyspnea. There can also be chest pain, probably due to microvessel disease. Dysfunction of the autonomous nervous system or arrhythmias may cause low blood pressure, dizziness, or recurrent syncope. The AL amyloidosis caused by the deposition of immunoglobulin light chains is the most common form. It can be performed by monoclonal gammopathy. The desirable treatment therapy consists of high-dose melphalan therapy twice followed by autologous stem cell transplantation. Due to the high peritransplantation mortality, selection of appropriate patients is mandatory. The ATTR amyloidosis is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by the amyloidogenic form of transthyretin, a plasmaprotein that is synthesized in the liver. Therefore, liver transplantation is the only curative therapy. The symptomatic treatment of cardiac amyloidosis is based on the current guidelines for chronic heart failure according to the patient's New York Heart Association (NYHA) state. Further types of amyloidosis with possible cardiac involvement comprise the senile systemic amyloidosis caused by the wild-type transthyretin, secondary amyloidosis after chronic systemic inflammation, and the beta(2)-microglobulin amyloidosis after long-term dialysis treatment.

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