SCAN MAY HELP DOCTORS TREAT POTENTIAL HEART FAILURE
A type of scan using a radioactive tracer may help clinicians properly diagnose and then treat two forms of heart failure, a recent study finds. According to a study published in the Sept. 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, use of intravenous solutions containing a radioactive isotope allows doctors to distinguish between two types of heart failure requiring different treatments.
The study found that when patients were given intravenous solutions containing the isotope, the tracer was taken up by the heart muscle tissue of patients with transthyretin amyloidosis, but not those with acquired monoclonal immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis. But the researchers cautioned that the finding needed to be confirmed in a larger group of patients than the 25 studied for the article.
Clinicians have a difficult time distinguishing between transthyretin amyloidosis, which is often hereditary, and acquired monoclonal immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis, which is often a consequence of multiple myeloma. The two forms of abnormal protein deposition require different treatments, although they look similar and both stiffen the heart muscle-ultimately leading to heart failure.
Treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis can include liver transplantation, while bone marrow transplantation may be indicated for acquired monoclonal immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis.