What does Amyloidosis with heart involvement mean?

It means the patient has "restrictive cardiomyopathy" which is rare in the United States and most other industrialized nations. In this disease, the walls of the ventricles stiffen and lose their flexibility due to infiltration by abnormal tissue such as amyloid deposits. As a result, the heart cannot fill adequately with blood and eventually loses its ability to pump properly.

In the United States, restrictive cardiomyopathy is most commonly related to the following: amyloidosis, in which abnormal protein fibers (amyloid) accumulate in the heart's muscle; sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that causes the formation of small lumps in organs; and hemochromatosis, an iron overload of the body, usually due to a genetic disease.

Typical signs of the condition include symptoms of congestive heart failure: weakness, fatigue, and breathlessness. Swelling of the legs, caused by fluid retention, occurs in a significant number of patients. Other symptoms include nausea, bloating, and poor appetite, probably because of the retention of fluid around the liver, stomach, and intestines.

NT-proBNP Blood Test for AL Amyloidosis Heart Involvement

4/28/2003

In a Clinical Investigation Report published by the American Heart Assoc., researchers at the University Hospital "IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo"–University of Pavia, Italy and the Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy, have concluded NT-proBNP appeared to be the most sensitive determinant in cardiac AL amyloidosis. It adds prognostic information for newly diagnosed patients and can be useful in designing therapeutic strategies and monitoring response. NT-proBNP is a sensitive marker of heart toxicity caused by amyloidogenic light chains.

For more information link to the American Heart Assoc: