Sensitivity of technetium-99m-pyrophosphate scintigraphy in diagnosing cardiac amyloidosis

Am J Cardiol. 1983 Mar 1;51(5):826-30. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(83)80140-4.


To determine the value of technetium-99m-pyrophosphate myocardial scintigraphy in the diagnosis of amyloid heart disease this procedure was prospectively performed in 20 consecutive patients with biopsy-proven primary amyloidosis. Eleven patients had echocardiographic abnormalities compatible with amyloid cardiomyopathy, 9 of whom had congestive heart failure. Diffuse myocardial pyrophosphate uptake was of equal or greater intensity than that of the ribs in 9 of the 11 patients with echocardiograms suggestive of amyloidosis, but in only 2 of the 9 with normal echocardiograms, despite abnormal electrocardiograms (p less than 0.01). Increased wall thickness measured by M-mode echocardiography correlated with myocardial pyrophosphate uptake (r = 0.68, p less than 0.01). None of 10 control patients with nonamyloid, nonischemic heart disease had a strongly positive myocardial pyrophosphate uptake. Thus, myocardial technetium-99m-pyrophosphate scanning is a sensitive and specific test for the diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis in patients with congestive heart failure of obscure origin. It does not appear to be of value for the early detection of cardiac involvement in patients with known primary amyloidosis without echocardiographic abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diphosphates*
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pyrophosphate
  • Technetium*


  • Diphosphates
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pyrophosphate
  • Technetium