Cardiac amyloidosis

Alternative Names

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

Definition of Cardiac amyloidosis

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

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Amyloidosis refers to a family of diseases in which there is a buildup of clumps of proteins called amyloids in body tissues and organs. These proteins slowly replace normal tissue, leading to failure of the involved organ. There are many forms of amyloidosis.

Signs and tests

It can be difficult to diagnose cardiac amyloidosis, because the signs can be related to a number of different conditions.

Treatment

Your doctor may tell you to change your diet. This may include salt and fluid restrictions.

Expectations (prognosis)

Cardiac amyloidosis is a long-term (chronic) condition that slowly gets worse. On average, persons with cardiac amyloidosis live less than 1 year.

Review

Issam Mikati, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Director, Northwestern Clinic Echocardiography Lab, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/1/2010

Heart, section through the middle
Dilated cardiomyopathy

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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