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What is Cardiac Amyloidosis?

Cardiac Amyloidosis is a disease that can affect the heart caused by abnormal proteins that can deposit in the heart. This can cause stiffness of the heart, affecting its ability to pump blood leading to heart rhythm problems and heart failure.

There are two types of Cardiac Amyloidosis:

-Hereditary (familial) amyloidosis-there is a change (mutation) in the DNA that is inherited and can be passed from one generation to the next.

            -Affects both men and women and symptoms may occur as early as 50 years old

            -The most common mutation is found, most often, in African Americans

-Wild-type amyloidosis is associated with aging and is not caused by a genetic mutation.  It is the most common form of amyloidosis.

            -Most often affect men over the age of 60 years old

What are the symptoms?

            -Symptoms are related to heart failure:

                        -shortness of breath

                        -fatigue, weakness

                        -leg or ankle edema

                        -poor appetite

                        -irregular heartbeat

                        -poor tolerance to exercise

            -Other non-heart related signs:

                        -History of carpal tunnel syndrome

                        -History of spinal stenosis

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor may perform an EKG and/or an Echocardiogram, and if he suspects cardiac amyloidosis, other tests will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

How is it treated?

There are medications available to treat the disease and the symptoms.  The doctor will determine the best course of treatment.

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