What is cardiac amyloidosis?

Cardiac Amyloidosis

What are the symptoms of cardiac amyloidosis?

You may not have symptoms at first. Or you may have symptoms such as:

  • Feeling very tired.
  • Feeling weak.

If your heart gets weaker, you may develop heart failure. If this happens, you may have other symptoms. These include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially with activity.
  • Trouble breathing when you lie down.
  • Fainting.
  • Swelling in your legs or belly.

If you have amyloidosis in other parts of your body, you may have other symptoms.

How is cardiac amyloidosis treated?

How cardiac amyloidosis is treated depends on your symptoms and what's causing the condition. The goal is to feel better, prevent other problems, and slow down the disease.

You may be treated with medicines to help get rid of extra fluid. Extra fluid causes swelling and makes it hard to breathe. You may need blood thinners to prevent a stroke and other problems.

Your doctor may talk with you about other medicines, treatments, and procedures to help you stay healthier and live longer.

How is cardiac amyloidosis diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. You may have an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram, and MRI scan of your heart. You may need other imaging tests. Blood and urine tests may be done. You may have genetic testing. In some cases, a heart tissue biopsy may be done.

What causes cardiac amyloidosis?

Many diseases can lead to cardiac amyloidosis. Sometimes the cause is not known. Other times, it can run in families (inherited). It may be part of the changes that happen with aging.

What is cardiac amyloidosis?

Cardiac amyloidosis is a buildup of abnormal protein (called amyloid) in the heart muscle. Over time, the heart muscle may become stiff and cannot expand to let enough blood enter its chambers. Your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. There are different types of amyloidosis.

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