Prospective identification of patients wth amyloid heart disease by two-dimensional echocardiography

G. L. Nicolosi, D. Pavan, C. Lestuzzi, C. Burelli, F. Zardo, D. Zanuttini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to determine whether changes in myocardial wall echogenicity that suggest amyloid disease could be prospectively identified by a qualitative analysis of two-dimensional echocardiographic images. Two thousand seventy-eight consecutive echocardiograms obtained over a 14 month period were prospectively analyzed. The myocardial walls of 30 patients showed multiple, discrete, small highly refractive echoes; amyloid disease was not known or suspected in any of them. It was recommended that all 30 patients undergo gingival biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and biopsy was performed in 15 patients. The recommendation for biopsy was made only on the basis of two-dimensional echocardiographic images and was independent of findings regarding thickness of the walls or the dimensions of the cardiac chambers. Results of biopsy were positive in 11 patients and negative in four. We conclude that qualitative evaluation of two-dimensional echocardiographic images can identify changes in myocardial wall echogenicity that correlate with a result of gingival biopsy positive for amyloidosis. In patients who have a typical myocardial texture by two-dimensional echocardiography and a positive gingival biopsy result, cardiac amyloidosis should be strongly suspected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-437
Number of pages6
Issue number3 I
Publication statusPublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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