Identifying Cardiac Amyloid in Aortic Stenosis: ECV Quantification by CT in TAVR Patients

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2020 Oct;13(10):2177-2189. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2020.05.029. Epub 2020 Aug 5.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to validate computed tomography measured ECV (ECVCT) as part of routine evaluation for the detection of cardiac amyloid in patients with aortic stenosis (AS)-amyloid.

Background: AS-amyloid affects 1 in 7 elderly patients referred for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Bone scintigraphy with exclusion of a plasma cell dyscrasia can diagnose transthyretin-related cardiac amyloid noninvasively, for which novel treatments are emerging. Amyloid interstitial expansion increases the myocardial extracellular volume (ECV).

Methods: Patients with severe AS underwent bone scintigraphy (Perugini grade 0, negative; Perugini grades 1 to 3, increasingly positive) and routine TAVR evaluation CT imaging with ECVCT using 3- and 5-min post-contrast acquisitions. Twenty non-AS control patients also had ECVCT performed using the 5-min post-contrast acquisition.

Results: A total of 109 patients (43% male; mean age 86 ± 5 years) with severe AS and 20 control subjects were recruited. Sixteen (15%) had AS-amyloid on bone scintigraphy (grade 1, n = 5; grade 2, n = 11). ECVCT was 32 ± 3%, 34 ± 4%, and 43 ± 6% in Perugini grades 0, 1, and 2, respectively (p < 0.001 for trend) with control subjects lower than lone AS (28 ± 2%; p < 0.001). ECVCT accuracy for AS-amyloid detection versus lone AS was 0.87 (0.95 for 99mTc-3,3-diphosphono-1,2-propanodicarboxylic acid Perugini grade 2 only), outperforming conventional electrocardiogram and echocardiography parameters. One composite parameter, the voltage/mass ratio, had utility (similar AUC of 0.87 for any cardiac amyloid detection), although in one-third of patients, this could not be calculated due to bundle branch block or ventricular paced rhythm.

Conclusions: ECVCT during routine CT TAVR evaluation can reliably detect AS-amyloid, and the measured ECVCT tracks the degree of infiltration. Another measure of interstitial expansion, the voltage/mass ratio, also performed well.

Keywords: aortic stenosis; cardiac amyloidosis; computed tomography; extracellular volume.