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      Diagnosis and Screening of Patients with Hereditary Transthyretin Amyloidosis (hATTR): Current Strategies and Guidelines

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          The outlook for transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) is changing with the availability of new and emerging treatments. ATTR now appears to be more common than previously thought and is no longer viewed as an obscure diagnosis with a grim prognosis. Now more than ever, there is growing emphasis on the need for early diagnosis because the treatments appear to be most effective if started in earlier stages of the disease. Diagnosing ATTR is a challenge as it may initially present with nonspecific symptoms and it is often thought of as a diagnosis of exclusion. Increased awareness is imperative as new treatments offer hope and have the potential to change the disease trajectory. ATTR commonly presents with neurological and cardiac features. Transthyretin (TTR) is a protein produced in the liver which misfolds either due to genetic mutations or due to aging and results in deposition of amyloid fibrils in organs and tissues. Apart from the traditional imaging modalities, newer techniques including echocardiographic strain imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear scintigraphy, as well as the increased availability of genetic testing are aiding in making a timely diagnosis. In this review, we present the current understanding of the ATTR disease process, diagnostic and surveillance approaches, newer treatment modalities, and the future directions.

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          Expert Consensus Recommendations for the Suspicion and Diagnosis of Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis

          Cardiomyopathy is a manifestation of transthyretin amyloid (ATTR) amyloidosis, which is an underrecognized systemic disease whereby the transthyretin protein misfolds to form fibrils that deposit in various tissues and organs. ATTR amyloidosis is debilitating and associated with poor life expectancy, especially in those with cardiac dysfunction, but a variety of treatment options have recently become available. Considered a rare disease, ATTR amyloidosis may be more prevalent than thought, particularly in older persons. Diagnosis is often delayed because of a lack of disease awareness and the heterogeneity of symptoms at presentation. Given the recent availability of effective treatments, early recognition and diagnosis are especially critical because treatment is likely more effective earlier in the disease course. The Amyloidosis Research Consortium recently convened a group of experts in ATTR amyloidosis who, through an iterative process, agreed on best practices for suspicion, diagnosis, and characterization of disease. This review describes these consensus recommendations for ATTR associated with cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM) as a resource to aid cardiologists and others in the recognition and diagnosis of ATTR-CM. Included in this review is an overview of red flag signs and symptoms and a recommended diagnostic approach, including testing for monoclonal protein, scintigraphy, or biopsy and, if ATTR-CM is identified, TTR genotyping.
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            Liver transplantation in transthyretin amyloidosis: issues and challenges.

            Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) is a rare worldwide autosomal dominant disease caused by the systemic deposition of an amyloidogenic variant of transthyretin (TTR), which is usually derived from a single amino acid substitution in the TTR gene. More than 100 mutations have been described, with V30M being the most prevalent. Each variant has a different involvement, although peripheral neuropathy and cardiomyopathy are the most common. Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) was implemented as the inaugural disease-modifying therapy because the liver produces the circulating unstable TTR. In this review, we focus on the results and long-term outcomes of OLT for ATTR after more than 2063 procedures and 23 years of experience. After successful OLT, neuropathy and organ impairment are not usually reversed, and in some cases, the disease progresses. The overall 5-year survival rate is approximately 100% for V30M patients and 59% for non-ATTR V30M patients. Cardiac-related death and septicemia are the main causes of mortality. Lower survival is related to malnutrition, a longer duration of disease, cardiomyopathy, and a later onset (particularly for males). Deposits, which are composed of a mixture of truncated and full-length TTR (type A) fibrils, have been associated with posttransplant myocardial dysfunction. A higher incidence of early hepatic artery thrombosis of the graft has also been documented for these patients. Liver-kidney/heart transplantation is an alternative for patients with advanced renal disease or heart failure. The sequential procedure, in which ATTR livers are reused in patients with liver disease, reveals that neuropathy in the recipient may appear as soon as 6 years after OLT, and ATTR deposits may appear even earlier. Long-term results of trials with amyloid protein stabilizers or disrupters, silencing RNA, and antisense oligonucleotides will highlight the value and limitations of liver transplantation.
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              A Review of Tafamidis for the Treatment of Transthyretin-Related Amyloidosis

              Transthyretin (TTR)-related amyloidosis (ATTR) is a devastating disease which affects a combination of organs including the heart and the peripheral nerves, and which has a fatal outcome if not treated within a average of 10 years. Tafamidis, or 2-(3,5-dichloro-phenyl)-benzoxazole-6-carboxylic acid, selectively binds to TTR with negative cooperativity and kinetically stabilizes wild-type native TTR and mutant TTR; tafamidis therefore has the potential to halt the amyloidogenic cascade initiated by TTR tetramer dissociation, monomer misfolding, and aggregation. The first tafamidis trial, Fx-005, evaluated the effect of 18 months of tafamidis treatment (20 mg once daily) on disease progression, as well as assessing its safety in TTR-FAP Val30Met patients. The secondary objective of this trial was to study the pharmacodynamic stabilization of mutated TTR. Tafamidis proved effective in reducing the progress of neuropathy, and in maintaining the nutritional status and quality of life of stage 1 (able to walk without support) Val3OMet TTR-FAP patients. Furthermore, TTR stabilization was achieved in more than 90% of patients. An extension study, Fx-006, was conducted to determine the long-term safety and tolerability of tafamidis and to assess the efficacy of the drug on slowing disease progression. No significant safety or tolerability issues were noticed. Taken together, the results from both trials indicated that the beneficial effects of tafamidis were sustained over a 30-month period and that starting treatment early is desirable. Results are expected from an extended open-label study but data that have already been presented show that long-term use of tafamidis in Val30Met patients is associated with reduced progression in polyneuropathy. Tafamidis was initially approved for commercial use in Europe in 2011 and has since been approved for use in Japan, Mexico, and Argentina where it is used as a first-line treatment option for patients with early-stage TTR-FAP. Patients should be carefully followed at referral centers to ascertain the individual response to treatment. In cases of discontinuation, liver transplantation and enrollment in clinical trials of novel drugs aimed mostly toward suppression of TTR production are options. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40120-015-0031-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                14 August 2020
                : 16
                : 749-758
                [1 ]Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine , Indianapolis, IN, USA
                [2 ]Division of Cardiology, Indiana University School of Medicine , Indianapolis, IN 46040, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: MD Benson 635 Barnhill Drive, A-128, Indianapolis, IN46202, USATel +1 317-278-3428Fax +1 317-274-4304 Email mdbenson@iupui.edu
                © 2020 Benson et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 22, Pages: 10


                cardiomyopathy, neuropathy, amyloidosis, transthyretin


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