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JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2011 Jun;4(6):659-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2011.03.016.

Role of (99m)Tc-DPD scintigraphy in diagnosis and prognosis of hereditary transthyretin-related cardiac amyloidosis.

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Institute of Cardiology, University of Bologna and S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.



In a cohort of patients with hereditary transthyretin-related amyloidosis (ATTR), we aimed to assess the role of (99m)Tc-3,3-diphosphono-1,2-propanodicarboxylic acid ((99m)Tc-DPD) in detecting myocardial amyloid infiltration across a wide spectrum of cardiac involvement and in predicting major adverse cardiac events (MACE).


Hereditary transthyretin-related amyloidosis is a challenging and underdiagnosed condition where both early diagnosis and prognosis remain problematic.


We evaluated 63 patients with ATTR: 40 with and 23 without echocardiographically diagnosed amyloidotic cardiomyopathy (AC). Myocardial uptake of (99m)Tc-DPD scintigraphy was semiquantitatively and visually assessed at 5 min and 3 h.


All patients with AC showed moderate-to-severe myocardial tracer uptake (i.e., visual score ≥2). Within the subgroup without AC, only 4 patients (with Ala36Pro, Gly47Ala, Thr49Ala, and Glu89Gln transthyretin mutations) showed myocardial tracer uptake and abnormal heart/whole body retention (H/WB) values: in all these cases endomyocardial biopsies showed amyloidotic infiltration. The H/WB was positively correlated with left ventricular (LV) mean wall thickness (Pearson's r=0.695, p<0.001) and negatively with LV ejection fraction (r=-0.368, p=0.004). The H/WB was an unfavorable predictor of MACE-free survival at Cox univariate analysis and contributed to the multivariate model. Notably, LV wall thickness >12 mm in combination with H/WB >7.5 was associated with the highest event rate.


In ATTR, (99m)Tc-DPD scintigraphy can identify myocardial infiltration across a wide spectrum of morphologic/functional cardiac involvement, allowing an early diagnosis of the disease (even before the appearance of echocardiographic abnormalities). The (99m)Tc-DPD myocardial uptake is a prognostic determinant of "cardiac" outcome in ATTR, either alone or in combination with LV wall thickness.

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