Right ventricular function in AL amyloidosis: Characteristics and prognostic implication

Francesco Cappelli, Maria Cristina Porciani, Franco Bergesio, Stefano Perlini, Paola Attanà, Alberto Moggi Pignone, Francesco Salinaro, Francesco Musca, Luigi Padeletti, Federico Perfetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The importance of right ventricle (RV) dysfunction in AL amyloidosis has been underestimated. This study was designed to comprehensively evaluate RV function and its prognostic role in patients with AL amyloidosis with and without echocardiographic evidence of cardiac involvement. Method and results: Fifty-two biopsy-proven AL amyloidosis patients underwent a thorough echocardiographic evaluation. Twenty-seven patients (CA) met the international echocardiographic criteria for cardiac involvement [left ventricular (LV) wall thickness ≥12 mm] and 25 patients had no cardiac amyloidosis features (NCA). Patients were compared with a sex- age-matched control group. Patients and controls underwent traditional, tissue Doppler (TDI), speckle-tracking left and RV echocardiographic evaluation. No difference was observed between groups in RV diastolic diameter, whereas CA patients showed increased RV free wall thickness (P <0.0001). Compared with controls and NCA patients, traditional echocardiography, TDI, and speckle-tracking evaluation detected significantly (P <0.0001) depressed RV longitudinal systolic function in CA patients. No difference was observed between groups at Doppler diastolic evaluation, whereas at tricuspidal annulus TDI analysis, CA subject showed significantly lower E′ and A′ values with increased E/E′ ratio (P<0.0001). Over a 19 months median follow-up period, 18 patients died. Cox multivariate analysis showed that N-terminal pro-Brain natriuretic peptide and RV longitudinal strain were the strongest death predictor. Conclusion: Our data show that in patients with AL amyloidosis, RV involvement develops later than LV amyloid deposition but when it occurs, prognosis dramatically worsens. Moreover RV longitudinal strain was the only echocardiographic predictor of prognosis. We suggest that RV function analysis should be performed routinely as a part of echocardiographic evaluation in these patients. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • AL amyloidosis
  • Longitudinal strain
  • Right ventricular
  • Speckle-tracking echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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