Cardiac amyloidosis

Amyloidosis - cardiac; Primary cardiac amyloidosis - AL type; Secondary cardiac amyloidosis - AA type; Stiff heart syndrome; Senile amyloidosis

Cardiac amyloidosis is a disorder caused by deposits of an abnormal protein (amyloid) in the heart tissue. These deposits make it hard for the heart to work properly.

Heart, section through the middle

The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy involves enlargement of the heart muscle and is the most common type of cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

Biopsy catheter

When a small piece of heart muscle tissue is needed for examination, a heart biopsy can be performed. A catheter is carefully threaded into an artery or vein to gain access into the heart. A bioptome (catheter with jaws in its tip) is then introduced. Once the bioptome is in place, three to five small pieces of tissue from the heart muscle are removed. The test is performed routinely after heart transplantation to detect potential rejection. It may also be performed when cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, cardiac amyloidosis, or other disorders are suspected.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional