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A Standardized Approach to the Diagnosis and Management of Cardiac Amyloidosis

What is Amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis is a rare condition in which the body produces an abnormal protein which can deposit in various organs, including the heart. When these proteins deposit, they can damage the structure and function of the heart causing heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

Cardiac amyloidosis is a chronic condition that requires expert care. Early diagnosis and intervention is key. Piedmont specialists have access to the latest diagnostic tools, multidisciplinary partners and the most effective, tailored treatments.

 

Types of Cardiac Amyloidosis

There are two main types of cardiac amyloidosis:

  • Transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis is the most common type. TTR amyloidosis occurs when the TTR protein made by the liver is altered by normal aging or by a genetic mutation.
  • Light chain (AL) amyloidosis is rare, but more aggressive. AL amyloidosis is caused by abnormal cells in the bone marrow.

 

Diagnosing Cardiac Amyloidosis

Different types of amyloidosis have different treatment regimens, so the correct diagnosis is important to help you get the right treatment as soon as possible.

From laboratory testing to advanced imaging, every test needed to definitively diagnose your cardiac amyloidosis is available within the Piedmont system.

Piedmont cardiologists can diagnose cardiac amyloidosis and identify which type so that you receive the right treatment. Your doctors may order one or more of the following tests:

  • Laboratory Testing
  • Advanced Imaging:
    • Strain Echocardiography
    • PYP (Technetium Pyrophosphate Scintigraphy) Scan
    • Cardiac MRI
  • Endomyocardial biopsy
  • Genetic Testing

Learn more about diagnostic imaging for amyloidosis.

 

Multidisciplinary Care By a Team of Experts

Amyloidosis can affect more than one organ or body system at a time. At Piedmont, our team of integrated specialists work together to deliver comprehensive, complementary treatment.

Meet Our Team

 

Treating Cardiac Amyloidosis

It is important for cardiac amyloidosis to be diagnosed and treated early. Piedmont offers access to all current therapies, as well as clinical research trials. While there is not yet a cure for the disease, there have been recent advances in treatment which can slow progression of the disease and improve symptoms.

Treatments for TTR Cardiac Amyloidosis

There are oral medications, such as Tafamidis, that can reduce the production of abnormal amyloid protein that deposits in the heart.

Because TTR can be hereditary, Piedmont offers genetic screening of family members. For patients with hereditary TTR with neurologic manifestations, our neurologists can help prescribe additional therapies.

Treatments for AL Cardiac Amyloidosis

AL amyloidosis often affects multiple organs and is treated by hematologists with therapies that target its source in the bone marrow. Cardiologists help manage the heart’s involvement with treatments to minimize any heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms. Because AL amyloidosis can be aggressive and fast-moving, it’s vital to start treatment as soon as possible.

Access to Clinical Trials

Piedmont is involved in ongoing clinical trials to help lead the effort to learn more about this disease. Learn more about research trials at Piedmont.

 

Make an Appointment or Refer a Patient

We offer convenient locations for amyloidosis care, close to home. We provide support along the continuum of care, including to patients and their families, and work with referring physicians to manage the care of each patient with a personalized approach. Same day appointments are available. To make an appointment, or to refer a patient, call 404-605-1964.

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