Infiltrative Cardiomyopathies

Clin Med Insights Cardiol. 2015 Jul 8;9(Suppl 2):29-38. doi: 10.4137/CMC.S19706. eCollection 2015.


Infiltrative cardiomyopathies can result from a wide spectrum of both inherited and acquired conditions with varying systemic manifestations. They portend an adverse prognosis, with only a few exceptions (ie, glycogen storage disease), where early diagnosis can result in potentially curative treatment. The extent of cardiac abnormalities varies based on the degree of infiltration and results in increased ventricular wall thickness, chamber dilatation, and disruption of the conduction system. These changes often lead to the development of heart failure, atrioventricular (AV) block, and ventricular arrhythmia. Because these diseases are relatively rare, a high degree of clinical suspicion is important for diagnosis. Electrocardiography and echocardiography are helpful, but advanced techniques including cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and nuclear imaging are increasingly preferred. Treatment is dependent on the etiology and extent of the disease and involves medications, device therapy, and, in some cases, organ transplantation. Cardiac amyloid is the archetype of the infiltrative cardiomyopathies and is discussed in great detail in this review.

Keywords: Infiltrative cardiomyopathy; amyloidosis; hemochromatosis; sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Review