Holter monitoring in AL amyloidosis: prognostic implications

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2001 Aug;24(8 Pt 1):1228-33. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9592.2001.01228.x.


The heart is involved in more than one third of patients with primary (AL) amyloidosis at diagnosis and it is by far the most common cause of death. Rhythm and conduction abnormalities generally represent the terminal event. The aims of this study were to determine the spectrum of Holter abnormalities found in AL amyloidosis and to assess their prognostic significance, particularly in relation to sudden death. Fifty-one patients with AL amyloidosis were included, and all of them had a complete history, physical examination, two-dimensional echocardiography, and 24-hour Holter monitoring. Fifty-five percent of these patients had echographic signs of heart involvement and 23% had heart failure. Complex ventricular arrhythmias were found in 57% of patients, couplets in 29%, and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia in 18%. Overall median survival was 23.4 months. Congestive heart failure, echocardiographic abnormalities, and Holter abnormalities adversely affected survival. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that interventricular septum thickness and couplets were independent predictors of survival. The presence of couplets correlated with sudden death. Holter monitoring may contribute to assessing the prognosis of patients with AL amyloidosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / complications*
  • Amyloidosis / mortality
  • Amyloidosis / physiopathology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Stroke Volume
  • Survival Analysis