Use of Serum Transthyretin as a Prognostic Indicator and Predictor of Outcome in Cardiac Amyloid Disease Associated With Wild-Type Transthyretin

Circ Heart Fail. 2018 Feb;11(2):e004000. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.117.004000.


Background: Wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTRwt), an underappreciated cause of heart failure in older adults, is challenging to diagnose and monitor in the absence of validated, disease-specific biomarkers. We examined the prognostic use and survival association of serum TTR (transthyretin) concentration in ATTRwt.

Methods and results: Patients with biopsy-proven ATTRwt were retrospectively identified. Serum TTR, cardiac biomarkers, and echocardiographic parameters were assessed at baseline and follow-up evaluations. Statistical analyses included Kaplan-Meier method, Cox proportional hazard survival models, and receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis. Median serum TTR concentration at presentation was 23 mg/dL (n=116). Multivariate predictors of shorter overall survival were decreased TTR, left ventricular ejection fraction and elevated cTn-I (cardiac troponin I); an inclusive model demonstrated superior accuracy in 4-year survival prediction by receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis (area under the curve, 0.77). TTR values lower than the normal limit, <18 mg/dL, were associated with shorter survival (2.8 versus 4.1 years; P=0.03). Further, TTR values at 1- and 2-year follow-ups were significantly lower (P<0.001) in untreated patients (n=23) compared with those treated with TTR stabilizer, diflunisal (n=12), after baseline evaluation. During 2-year follow-up, unchanged TTR corresponded to increased cTn-I (P=0.006) in untreated patients; conversely, the diflunisal-treated group showed increased TTR (P=0.001) and stabilized cTn-I and left ventricular ejection fraction at 1 year.

Conclusions: In this series of biopsy-proven ATTRwt, lower baseline serum TTR concentration was associated with shorter survival as an independent predictor of outcome. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated that decreasing TTR corresponded to worsening cardiac function. These data suggest that TTR may be a useful prognostic marker and predictor of outcome in ATTRwt.

Keywords: amyloid; biomarker; heart failure; risk factor; survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prealbumin / metabolism*
  • Predictive Value of Tests*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • ROC Curve*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology


  • Prealbumin