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Light Chain Testing Abnormalities Among Patients With Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy Referred for Technetium-99m Pyrophosphate Imaging

      Clinical algorithms stipulate that transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM) can be diagnosed noninvasively by technetium-99m pyrophosphate (PYP) imaging when light chain (AL) amyloidosis has been excluded. We sought to define the distribution of light chain abnormalities and final diagnosis of ATTR-CM among patients referred for PYP imaging. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 378 sequential patients with suspected ATTR-CM, referred for PYP imaging from October 2014 to January 2019. PYP scans were adjudicated as per guidelines. We found that 97 patients (26%) had abnormal plasma cell dyscrasia (PCD) markers, including serum free light chain (FLC) and/or urine/serum immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE). After exclusions for incomplete data or known AL amyloidosis, the final study population with abnormal PCD testing was n = 82. Final adjudication of amyloidosis was determined by multidisciplinary clinical assessment and/or tissue biopsy. The median age of cohort was 75 (68 to 81) years, 88% were men, and 33% were Black. Of the 82 patients, 62 had positive PYP scans (76%) and 20 had negative PYP scans (24%). A total of 64 patients had adjudicated ATTR-CM, confirmed by tissue biopsy in 41 (64%). Of those with confirmed ATTR-CM, 44 (69%) had abnormal FLC ratio between 1.65 and 3.1 and normal IFE. In conclusion, among patients referred for technetium-99m-PYP imaging for suspected ATTR-CM, 26% exhibited abnormalities of PCD markers. An FLC ratio 1.65 to 3.1, with normal IFE was noted in 69% of those with ATTR-CM, suggesting that ATTR-CM can be diagnosed noninvasively without cardiac biopsy in patients with positive PYP scan and similar plasma cell testing results.

      Abbreviations:

      ATTR-CM (Transthyretin amyloidosis cardiomyopathy), PCD (Plasma cell dyscrasia), PYP (technetium-99m pyrophosphate), FLC (Free light chain)
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