Our specialists at the Amyloidosis Program provide expert care for cardiac amyloidosis, a serious condition that affects heart function.
Cardiac amyloidosis occurs when a protein, called amyloid fibrils, accumulates in the heart muscle and surrounding tissues. This protein buildup causes the walls of the heart to thicken, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. Amyloid fibrils can also build up in the nervous system and other organs, such as the kidneys.
Symptoms—including shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the legs or abdomen, or cardiac arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation—are often mistaken for those of hypertensive heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or other forms of heart failure.
As part of NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and NYU Langone Heart, our team of cardiologists, neurologists, hematologists, and nephrologists works together to create a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all aspects of this condition.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Cardiac Amyloidosis
Proper treatment requires an accurate diagnosis. For most people, we first conduct blood and urine tests to determine the type of amyloid present in the body. At NYU Langone, we may use advanced imaging technologies such as a nuclear scan, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or echocardiogram to help detect cardiac amyloidosis. Diagnosis may also involve a heart biopsy, genetic testing for hereditary amyloidosis, or an electrocardiogram, which records the heart’s electrical signals.
To help manage cardiac amyloidosis, we may prescribe medication that prevents abnormal proteins from breaking down and depositing in the tissue. Specialists at NYU Langone’s Heart Failure Advanced Care Center and Heart Rhythm Center can also help manage symptoms of the condition.
When appropriate, we refer patients who have cardiac amyloidosis to our heart transplant center, which is one of the best in the country and part of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute. We can also enroll you in clinical trials, to provide you with the latest treatment options.