Cardiac Scintigraphy With Technetium-99m-Labeled Bone-Seeking Tracers for Suspected Amyloidosis: JACC Review Topic of the Week

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Jun 9;75(22):2851-2862. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.04.022.


Technetium-labeled cardiac scintigraphy (i.e., Tc-PYP scan) has been repurposed for the diagnosis of transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM). Validated in cohorts of patients with heart failure and echocardiographic and/or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging findings suggestive of cardiac amyloidosis, cardiac scintigraphy can confirm the diagnosis of ATTR-CM only when combined with blood and urine testing to exclude a monoclonal protein. Multisocietal guidelines support the nonbiopsy diagnosis of ATTR-CM using cardiac scintigraphy, yet emphasize its use in the appropriate clinical context and the crucial need to rule out light chain amyloid cardiomyopathy. Although increased awareness of ATTR-CM and the advent of effective therapy have led to rapid adoption of diagnostic scintigraphy, there is heterogeneity in adherence to consensus guidelines. This perspective outlines clinical scenarios wherein findings on technetium-labeled cardiac scintigraphy have been misinterpreted, reviews causes of false-negative and false-positive results, and provides strategies to avoid costly and potentially fatal misdiagnoses.

Keywords: (99m)Tc-DPD; (99m)Tc-HMDP; (99m)Tc-PYP; Technetium-labeled bone scintigraphy; amyloidosis; cardiomyopathy; diagnostic testing; transthyretin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Amyloidosis / metabolism*
  • Cardiac-Gated Single-Photon Emission Computer-Assisted Tomography / methods*
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomyopathies / metabolism*
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / methods
  • Organotechnetium Compounds / metabolism
  • Radioactive Tracers
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods
  • Technetium* / metabolism


  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radioactive Tracers
  • Technetium