Cardiac amyloidosis


What is amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis is a rare condition caused by abnormal protein known as amyloid. This protein can build up in tissue and organs including the heart, kidney, and nervous system, affecting their function.

How does amyloidosis affect the heart?

Amyloidosis can cause a condition known as cardiac amyloidosis, often referred to as ‘stiff heart syndrome’.

This can cause thickening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) and abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias).

Cardiac amyloidosis can also lead to heart failure.

What are the symptoms of amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis can present with a wide range of symptoms, depending on which organs are affected. Some people may have no symptoms in the early stages of the condition.

Symptoms of amyloidosis can include:

What causes amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis can be inherited, caused by another health condition, or developed as a primary condition.

In some people, the cause of amyloidosis is unknown.

The main types of amyloidosis are:

How is amyloidosis diagnosed?

Amyloidosis can be hard to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to those of other common conditions.

Your doctor may conduct the following tests to diagnose amyloidosis:

If you are diagnosed with amyloidosis, your doctor may do additional tests to check the function of organs such as the heart and kidneys.

These tests may include:

How is amyloidosis treated?

Treatment will depend on the type of amyloidosis, the severity, and which parts of the body are affected.

Treatment options may include:

How can amyloidosis be prevented?

Amyloidosis can not be prevented, though managing health conditions that can cause amyloidosis may decrease your risk of developing the condition.

What research is the Institute conducting into amyloidosis?

The Institute’s Dr Nikki Bart heads an amyloidosis clinic which opened in 2022 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. The clinic offers streamlined, specialist care for those with amyloidosis, along with treatments that can reduce symptoms and improve survival rates.

The clinic is currently conducting several trials of therapies including medications, injections and gene-modifying therapies.

Dr Bart is also working to raise awareness and understanding of amyloidosis within the medical and general communities.

Clinicians can refer amyloidosis patients by emailing

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years