Cardiac Amyloidosis in Patients Undergoing TAVR: Why We Need to Think About It
Systemic amyloidosis encompasses a variety of diseases characterized by extracellular deposition of protein-derived fibrils in different tissues and organs. Immunoglobulin light-chain (AL) and transthyretin (ATTR) amyloid are the two types that more commonly affect the heart and in both subtypes cardiac involvement is the main determinant of prognosis. Recently, several studies have suggested that Cardiac Amyloidosis (CA) and Aortic Stenosis (AS) can coexist more frequently than previously suspected with prevalence ranging from 5,6% to 16% in different cohorts. The unexpected high prevalence of CA in AS and the availability of potentially effective treatment in CA should push us to carefully investigate elderly patients with aortic valve stenosis in order to identify those with coexistent amyloidosis. While the motivation to exclude amyloidosis was in the past their exclusion from active treatment of the valve disease, judged as futile because of their poor unavoidable prognosis, the improved therapeutic options available challenges this conservative approach. Aim of this review is to identify the triggers to investigate AS patients at risk of having concomitant ATTR-CA, to propose a diagnostic path to reach diagnosis and to discuss the changes in the therapeutic strategy caused by this discovery in the era of TAVR and active pharmacological treatments to slow down disease progression.