The Most Predictive Red Flags for Suspecting Cardiac Amyloidosis in Patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction

Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2024 Jun;52(4):227-236. doi: 10.5543/tkda.2024.33046.


Objective: Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is a cardiomyopathy characterized by amyloid infiltration in the myocardium. Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (TTR-CA), commonly presenting as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), was the focus of our study, which aimed to identify red flags that heighten suspicion of CA in HFpEF patients.

Methods: We prospectively included patients diagnosed with HFpEF. All patients were assessed for TTR-CA red flag features, cardiac and extra-cardiac, as outlined in the 'Diagnosis and Treatment of Cardiac Amyloidosis: A Position Statement of the European Society of Cardiology.' Technetium-99m pyrophosphate (99mTc-PYP) cardiac scintigraphy was performed in 167 HFpEF patients suspected of having TTR-CA. Patients testing positive and negative for TTR-CA were compared based on these red flag features.

Results: Out of 167 HFpEF patients, 19 (11.3%) were diagnosed with TTR-CA. In the TTR-CA group, 17 (89.5%) patients were 65 years or older. The presence of three or more red flags differentiated the TTR-CA positive and negative groups (P = 0.040). Features such as low voltage and pseudo infarct patterns were more prevalent in the TTR-CA group (P < 0.001 and P < 0.048, respectively). Left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LV-GLS) was lower in the TTR-CA positive group (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis identified four variables-older age, pseudo infarct pattern, low/decreased QRS voltage, and LV-GLS-as strong, independent predictors of TTR-CA, with significant odds ratios (ORs) of 7.8, 6.8, 16.9, and 1.2, respectively.

Conclusion: In this study, TTR-CA etiology occurs in approximately one in every ten HFpEF patients. The presence of three or more red flags increases the likelihood of TTR-CA. Older age, pseudo infarct pattern, low/decreased QRS voltage, and reduced LV-GLS are the most significant red flags indicating TTR-CA in HFpEF patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / complications
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / diagnosis
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / diagnostic imaging
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / physiopathology
  • Amyloidosis / complications
  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Amyloidosis / physiopathology
  • Cardiomyopathies* / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomyopathies* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke Volume* / physiology

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloidosis, Hereditary, Transthyretin-Related