Prevalence and Outcomes of Cardiac Amyloidosis in All-Comer Referrals for Bone Scintigraphy

Christian Nitsche, Katharina Mascherbauer, Raffaella Calabretta, Matthias Koschutnik, Carolina Dona, Varius Dannenberg, Felix Hofer, Kseniya Halavina, Andreas A Kammerlander, Tatjana Traub-Weidinger, Georg Goliasch, Christian Hengstenberg, Marcus Hacker, Julia Mascherbauer

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

13 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of cardiac amyloidosis (CA) in the general population and associated prognostic implications remain poorly understood. We aimed to identify CA prevalence and outcomes in bone scintigraphy referrals. Methods: Consecutive all-comers undergoing 99mTc-3,3-diphosphono-1,2-propanodicarboxylic-acid (99mTc-DPD) bone scintigraphy between 2010 and 2020 were included. Perugini grade 1 was defined as low-grade uptake and grade 2 or 3 as confirmed CA. All-cause mortality, cardiovascular death, and heart failure hospitalization (HHF) served as endpoints. Results: In total, 17,387 scans from 11,527 subjects (age, 61 ± 16 y; 63.0% women, 73.6% cancer) were analyzed. Prevalence of 99mTc-DPD positivity was 3.3% (n = 376/11,527; grade 1: 1.8%, grade 2 or 3: 1.5%), and was higher among cardiac than noncardiac referrals (18.2% vs. 1.7%). In individuals with more than 1 scan, progression from grade 1 to grade 2 or 3 was observed. Among patients with biopsy-proven CA, the portion of light-chain (AL)-CA was significantly higher in grade 1 than grade 2 or 3 (73.3% vs. 15.4%). After a median of 6 y, clinical event rates were: 29.4% mortality, 2.6% cardiovascular death, and 1.5% HHF, all independently predicted by positive 99mTc-DPD. Overall, adverse outcomes were driven by confirmed CA (vs. grade 0, mortality: adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 1.46 [95% CI 1.12-1.90]; cardiovascular death: AHR 2.34 [95% CI 1.49-3.68]; HHF: AHR 2.25 [95% CI 1.51-3.37]). One-year mortality was substantially higher in cancer than noncancer patients. Among noncancer patients, also grade 1 had worse outcomes than grade 0 (HHF/death: AHR 1.45 [95% CI 1.01-2.09]), presumably because of longer observation and higher prognostic impact of early infiltration. Conclusion: Positive 99mTc-DPD was identified in a substantial number of consecutive 99mTc-DPD referrals and associated with adverse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1906-1911
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2022


  • Humans
  • Female
  • Middle Aged
  • Aged
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Amyloidosis/diagnostic imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Referral and Consultation


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