Diagnosing Cardiac Amyloidosis Earlier in Marginalized Communities

September 3, 2019

Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, and Boston University School of Medicine, have earned a five-year, $7.2M grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a screening program for cardiac amyloidosis in minority communities.

The Screening for Cardiac Amyloidosis with Nuclear Imaging in Minority Populations (SCAN-MP) trial will be co-led by Mathew S. Maurer, MD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Frederick L. Ruberg, MD, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. 

Previous research has shown that heart failure related to transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis disproportionately affects older Black and Hispanic Americans. Symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling, and fatigue. The disease is under-recognized because, until recently,  it was difficult to diagnose and it was perceived to be very rare.

The trial will recruit a total of 800 participants from Boston and New York City, and will use a new nuclear imaging technique, developed by Maurer and colleagues, to help diagnose transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis earlier in vulnerable patients. More effective detection methods would mean that patients could be treated earlier by new drugs available for the disorder, leading to better patient outcomes.

To learn more about the study, please read the press release.