Update on Disease-Specific Biomarkers in Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis

Caleb J. Hood, Nicholas S. Hendren, Rose Pedretti, Lori R. Roth, Lorena Saelices, Justin L. Grodin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (ATTR-CM) is an infiltrative cardiomyopathy and an increasingly recognized cause of morbidity and mortality. There remains substantial delay between initial symptoms and diagnosis. With the recent emergence of various targeted therapies proven to reduce morbidity and mortality, there is an imperative to diagnose subclinical disease. Biomarkers may be well-suited for this role. Recent Findings: Conventional markers of heart failure, such as natriuretic peptides and cardiac troponins, and estimated glomerular filtration rate are associated with risk in ATTR-CM. Circulating transthyretin (TTR) levels parallel TTR kinetic stability, correlate with disease severity, and may serve as indirect markers of ATTR-CM disease activity and response to targeted treatment. There is also growing evidence for the correlation of TTR to retinol-binding protein 4, a biomarker which independently associates with this disease. The rate-limiting step for ATTR pathogenesis is dissociation of the TTR homotetramer, which may be quantified using subunit exchange to allow for early risk assessment, prognostication, and assessment of treatment response. The protein species that result from the dissociation and misfolding of TTR are known as nonnative transthyretin (NNTTR). NNTTR is quantifiable via peptide probes and is a specific biomarker whose reduction is positively correlated with improvement in neuropathic ATTR amyloidosis. Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is released into the blood after axonal damage and correlates with neuropathic ATTR amyloidosis, but its clinical use in ATTR-CM is uncertain. Summary: Conventional markers of heart failure, transthyretin, retinol-binding protein 4, transthyretin kinetic stability, nonnative transthyretin, peptide probes, and neurofilament light chain have potential as biomarkers to enable early, subclinical diagnosis in patients with transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent heart failure reports
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Biomarkers
  • Neurofilament light chain
  • Nonnative transthyretin
  • Peptide probes
  • Retinol binding protein
  • Transthyretin amyloidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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