Cardiac amyloidosis is quite rare and produces symptoms very similar to other heart diseases. It is, therefore, often misdiagnosed. The disease is more common in men than in women and is rarely seen in people under age 40.
Amyloidosis refers to a group of diseases caused by deposits of abnormal proteins, known as amyloid, in one or more organs of the body. Deposition of amyloid in the heart is known as cardiac amyloidosis. When this occurs, the heart becomes stiff, causing fluid buildup in the lungs that leads to breathlessness and fluid buildup in soft tissues that leads to leg and abdominal swelling.
There are several types of amyloidosis that can affect the heart, and it is vital that the correct type is identified, as treatment differs greatly depending on the specific form.
The Cardiac Amyloidosis Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is a unique collaboration among clinicians and researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, providing a focused and thorough approach to caring for patients with all forms of cardiac amyloidosis. The Program offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services, including:
In addition, the program provides patient care coordination with non-cardiac specialists for other conditions that often coexist with cardiac amyloidosis, including pulmonary hypertension, peripheral and autonomic neuropathy, and renal and gastroenterological disorders.
For nearly a century, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been at the epicenter for innovation and discovery in cardiovascular care and research.
Our Heart & Vascular Center continues to be poised for the future and will lead the way in shaping cardiovascular care in years to come. The way we deliver care to our patients within our state-of the-art Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center – integrating all of our cardiovascular services to create a truly collaborative environment that fosters teamwork amongst all of our specialists – will serve as a catalyst for groundbreaking advances in heart and vascular care and research.
BWH has long been committed to not only the care of our patients but also the many other needs that they and their families have. This philosophy of patient- and family-focused care – involving systems and services that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment – is a guiding force behind the care we provide at the Center.
BWH is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our Inpatient Satisfaction Survey, sent to patients’ to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and where we could improve. We pride ourselves in the Quality of Patient Care we provide and how we compare with other hospitals.
The Cardiac Amyloidosis Program team is committed to patients and their families. Each patient's diagnosis and treatment plan will be designed and tailored to their needs. Our team of highly skilled doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals work together to deliver the highest quality care to every patient.
If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our cardiac amyloidosis experts, call 1-800-294-9999 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs, or fill out an online appointment request form.