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Circ J. 2015;79(4):721-34. doi: 10.1253/circj.CJ-14-1425. Epub 2015 Mar 12.

Echocardiographic assessment of the cardiac amyloidoses.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Shinshu University School of Medicine.


Cardiac amyloidosis is a cardiomyopathy characterized by increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness and normal or decreased LV cavity size. Congestive heart failure in cardiac amyloidosis is generally considered a predominantly diastolic phenomenon, with systolic dysfunction only occurring in late-stage disease. Echocardiography is a noninvasive, reproducible method of assessing cardiac features and function in cardiac amyloidosis, and some echocardiographic indices are prognostic for the amyloidoses, with M-mode and 2-dimensional echocardiography able to detect increased LV wall thickness. Moreover, Doppler flow measurements can incrementally assess diastolic LV dysfunction, which is characteristic of cardiac amyloidosis, and provide important prognostic information. Additionally, tissue Doppler imaging can detect subtle changes in both systolic and diastolic LV function, which cannot be detected by Doppler flow measurements, and LV longitudinal strain assessed by color tissue Doppler and speckle tracking echocardiography can provide more accurate LV functional and prognostic information than tissue Doppler imaging. This review describes the advances in echocardiography and its crucial role in the diagnosis and management of cardiac amyloidosis.

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