Tafamidis treatment delays structural and functional changes of the left ventricle in patients with transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Nov 11;jeab226. doi: 10.1093/ehjci/jeab226. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Aims: Tafamidis improves outcomes in patients with transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM). However, it is not yet known whether tafamidis affects cardiac amyloid deposition and structural changes in the myocardium. We aimed to determine disease-modifying effects on myocardial amyloid progression and to identify imaging parameters that could be applied for specific therapy monitoring.

Methods and results: ATTR-CM patients underwent serial cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging using T1 mapping techniques to derive extracellular volume (ECV). Patients receiving tafamidis 61 mg (n = 35) or 20 mg (n = 15) once daily showed stable measurements at follow-up (FU) {61 mg: 9.0 [interquartile range (IQR) 7.0-11.0] months, 20 mg: 11.0 (IQR 8.0-18.0) months} in left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (LVEF; 61 mg: 47.6% vs. 47.5%, P = 0.935; 20 mg: 52.4% vs. 52.1%, P = 0.930), LV mass index (LVMI; 61 mg: 110.2 vs. 106.2 g/m2, P = 0.304; 20 mg: 114.5 vs. 115.4 g/m2, P = 0.900), and ECV (61 mg: 47.5% vs. 47.7%, P = 0.861; 20 mg: 56.7% vs. 57.5%, P = 0.759), whereas treatment-naïve ATTR-CM patients (n = 19) had clear signs of disease progression at the end of the observation period [12.0 (IQR 10.0-21.0) months; LVEF: 53.3% vs. 45.7%, P = 0.031; LVMI: 98.9 vs. 106.9 g/m2, P = 0.027; ECV: 49.3% vs. 54.6%, P = 0.023]. Between-group comparison at FU revealed positive effects in tafamidis 61 mg-treated compared to treatment-naïve patients (LVEF: P = 0.035, LVMI: P = 0.036, ECV: P = 0.030), while those treated with 20 mg showed no difference in the above LV measurements when compared with treatment-naïve (P = 0.120, P = 0.287, P = 0.158). However, both treatment groups showed clinically beneficial effects compared to the natural course [61 mg, 6-min walk distance (6-MWD): P = 0.005, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP): P = 0.002; 20 mg, 6-MWD: P = 0.023, NT-proBNP: P = 0.003].

Conclusion: Tafamidis delays myocardial amyloid progression in ATTR-CM patients, resulting in structural, functional, and clinical benefits compared to the natural course. Serial CMR including measurement of ECV may be appropriate for disease-specific therapy monitoring.

Keywords: cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; extracellular volume; left ventricle; tafamidis; transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy.