Cardiac Amyloidosis

Cardiac amyloidosis is a rare and serious disease that requires an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is a common cause of heart failure but remains under-recognized. In Kentucky alone, over 10,000 patients are estimated to have CA, but only a small fraction of these patients are diagnosed. With highly effective therapies now available for treatment, awareness of cardiac amyloidosis is projected to increase, enabling greater adoption of effective and appropriate screening strategies among providers.

What is Cardiac Amyloidosis?

Cardiac amyloidosis occurs when an abnormal protein — called amyloid — builds up in your heart tissue. This buildup makes it hard for your heart to work the way it should. The heart muscles get rigid, which prevents the muscles from relaxing between beats and stops blood from getting into your heart. Many people with the condition also have issues with their kidneys, liver and other organs.

There are two main types of cardiac amyloidosis:
  • Transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR amyloidosis): This type results from mutated deposits of transthyretin, a protein made by the liver. The two subtypes of ATTR are:
    • Wild-type amyloidosis: Usually affects people in their 60s or older
    • Hereditary amyloidosis: Runs in families and typically affects people in their 40s or older
  • Light chain amyloidosis (AL amyloidosis): This type of amyloidosis is associated with blood cancers like multiple myeloma. It is not a type of cancer, but it is treated with chemotherapy.

Cardiac Amyloidosis Provider Education

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Cardiac Amyloidosis Care at UK HealthCare

UK HealthCare’s cardiac amyloidosis clinic is the only one of its kind in Kentucky. Highlights of our program include:
  • One-of-a-kind care: Cardiac amyloidosis is considered so rare that very few hospitals in the country have the capability to treat it. Ours is the only cardiac amyloidosis clinic in Kentucky. Here, you’ll have the resources you need all under one roof.
  • Comprehensive treatment: Your team includes doctors who specialize in treating cardiac amyloidosis as well as kidney, liver and other organ problems that can come with it. You’ll also have a nurse coordinator to support and guide you throughout your care.
  • Leading-edge research: Our physicians are also researchers looking for new ways to treat this disease. We offer clinical trials that test new therapies and study how the disease progresses.
  • Amyloidosis alliance: The cardiac amyloidosis clinic affiliates with multiple other specialties within UK to provide comprehensive amyloidosis management to our patients. Specialties include hematology, nephrology, pulmonology and neurology so that patients with amyloidosis can expect care to treat the full spectrum of symptoms.