Skip to main content
Couple meets their doctor

The Expertise to Find and Treat Amyloidosis

With heart conditions that are often misdiagnosed, you need a team of specialists who consider the alternatives to give you answers — and that’s just the start of our cardiac and systemic amyloidosis care. We’ll deliver the diagnosis and compassionate care you deserve.

What to Know About Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis is the result of an abnormal unfolding of a protein that builds up in the tissue. This amyloid buildup can cause the heart, nerves and other systems of the body to malfunction.

Once considered a rare disease — and often mistaken for other illnesses like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — cardiac amyloidosis is becoming more commonly diagnosed due to advances in testing. Likewise, systemic amyloidosis is now more frequently identified during evaluations for bleeding, swelling and fatigue. Other types of amyloidosis can lead to life-threatening organ failure, such as with familial transthyretin amyloidosis or wild-type amyloidosis — all of which now have effective treatment options.

With amyloidosis, receiving an accurate diagnosis is the first step toward recovery, and our team is here to help. To learn more, call our nurse navigator at 407-303-1648.

Call Our Nurse Navigator

Comprehensive Care for Cardiac and Systemic Amyloidosis

Risk Factors and Effects

Amyloidosis Risk Factors

Heart Failure

If amyloid proteins build up in the heart muscle, it causes thickening of the heart wall, and the heart enlarges. As that happens, the heart works harder to pump enough blood through the body. This extra strain on the heart can lead to heart failure.

Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Issue)

Amyloidosis can cause irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmias, or weaken the heart’s electrical current. A type of arrhythmia that’s common with amyloidosis is atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Amyloidosis Systemic Effects

Amyloid proteins are waxy, stick together easily and can form into large clusters. If those clusters get stuck, they can cause a partial blockage in a heart valve and limit blood flow. These clusters can also cause nerve damage and symptoms such as neuropathies. They may even affect other parts of the nervous system, such as balance, or the ability to modulate daily functions such as urination or bowel movements. Protein deposits within the bloodstream can also cause anemia or damage to other organs, including kidneys or bones.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing and Treating Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis was widely considered a rare disease, but we now know it’s more common than we thought. The disease can sometimes be misdiagnosed for another illness like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or hypertensive heart disease.

Diagnostic tests to check for cardiac amyloidosis may include:

  • An echocardiogram
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Endomyocardial biopsy, in some patients
  • Genetic testing

Diagnostic tests to check for systemic amyloidosis may include:

  • Blood testing
  • Bone marrow biopsy, in some patients
  • Skeletal imaging

Treatment Options

Potential treatments could include:

  • Lifestyle changes, including stopping alcohol use and monitoring salt intake
  • Medications, both adding or removing medications
  • Medications or therapies, provided by our hematology teams, related to blood cancer treatments in patients with systemic amyloidosis

As there are now FDA-approved medications that are effective in treating amyloidosis, it’s important to receive the correct diagnosis to improve your chances of recovery. Count on our experts to get you answers and an accurate diagnosis.

Surgical Options

Surgical Options for Cardiac Amyloidosis

Your care team will discuss with you whether any of these options could work for you:

  • A heart transplant, which may be considered for people with some types of amyloidosis who have very poor heart function
  • A liver transplant, which may be necessary for people who have hereditary amyloidosis
  • A bone marrow transplant, which may be necessary for people who have systemic, amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis

Meet Our Cardiac Amyloidosis Leaders

Naveen Bellam, MD, MPH
Co-Director of HCM Center of Excellence, Transplant Cardiologist
Marcos Hazday, MD, FACC
Director of HCM Center of Excellence
A team of physicians smiling and looking at a document

A Whole Team Working Together for You

Your whole health is our whole focus. The best way to support you in body, mind and spirit is to work together across our areas of expertise and take a highly coordinated approach. With our comprehensive program, you’ll have access to experts in:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Genetics
  • Hematology
  • Imaging
  • Invasive cardiology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pathology
  • Pediatric cardiology
  • Transplant

Together, we’ll provide the effective treatment you need, keeping your whole health in mind at every step.