Current patterns of beta-blocker prescription in cardiac amyloidosis: an Italian nationwide survey

ESC Heart Fail. 2021 Aug;8(4):3369-3374. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.13411. Epub 2021 May 14.


Aims: The use of beta-blocker therapy in cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is debated. We aimed at describing patterns of beta-blocker prescription through a nationwide survey.

Methods and results: From 11 referral centres, we retrospectively collected data of CA patients with a first evaluation after 2016 (n = 642). Clinical characteristics at first and last evaluation were collected, with a focus on medical therapy. For patients in whom beta-blocker therapy was started, stopped, or continued between first and last evaluation, the main reason for beta-blocker management was requested. Median age of study population was 77 years; 81% were men. Arterial hypertension was found in 58% of patients, atrial fibrillation (AF) in 57%, and coronary artery disease in 16%. Left ventricular ejection fraction was preserved in 62% of cases, and 74% of patients had advanced diastolic dysfunction. Out of the 250 CA patients on beta-blockers at last evaluation, 215 (33%) were already taking this therapy at first evaluation, while 35 (5%) were started it, in both cases primarily because of high-rate AF. One-hundred-nineteen patients (19%) who were on beta-blocker at first evaluation had this therapy withdrawn, mainly because of intolerance in the presence of heart failure with advanced diastolic dysfunction. The remaining 273 patients (43%) had never received beta-blocker therapy. Beta-blockers usage was similar between CA aetiologies. Patients taking vs. not taking beta-blockers differed only for a greater prevalence of arterial hypertension, coronary artery disease, AF, and non-restrictive filling pattern (P < 0.01 for all) in the former group.

Conclusions: Beta-blockers prescription is not infrequent in CA. Such therapy may be tolerated in the presence of co-morbidities for which beta-blockers are routinely used and in the absence of advanced diastolic dysfunction.

Keywords: Beta-blockers; Cardiac amyloidosis; Heart failure; Light chains; Transthyretin.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis* / complications
  • Amyloidosis* / drug therapy
  • Amyloidosis* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prescriptions
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left*