TN 12 (09-15)

DI 23022.580 Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL Type

COMPASSIONATE ALLOWANCE INFORMATION
 

CARDIAC AMYLOIDOSIS- AL TYPE

ALTERNATE NAMES

Light Chain Cardiac Amyloidosis; Cardiac Amyloidosis Light Chain Disease; Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis

DESCRIPTION

Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL type is a rare heart disease caused by deposits of abnormal protein (amyloid) in the heart tissue. These proteins slowly replace normal heart tissue causing the heart to become stiff. People with this disease often experience difficulties with the way in which electrical signals move through the heart conduction system. These electrical disturbances can lead to arrhythmias and heart block. Heart function also becomes reduced.

Adjudicators are reminded to not confuse Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL type with other types of amyloidosis with cardiac involvement (e.g. familial or senile age related transthyretin (ATTR) and secondary (AA) amyloidosis). These types of amyloidosis are also known as heavy chain amyloidosis. Although they can also affect the heart, their severity and progression are variable and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING, PHYSICAL FINDINGS AND ICD-9- CM CODING

Diagnostic testing: Chest or abdomen CT scan; Coronary Angiography; Echocardiogram; MRI; and Nuclear heart scans help diagnose cardiac amyloidosis light chain disease. A tissue biopsy (not necessarily of the heart) confirms the diagnosis.

Physical findings: Symptoms and signs may be similar to what is seen in congestive heart failure and may include excessive fluid retention, excessive urination at night, fatigue, heart palpitations, shortness of breath with activity, swelling of the legs and ankles, and difficulty breathing while lying down.

ICD9: 277.3 (Amyloidosis); 427.x (Cardiac Dysrhythmias); 428.x (Heart Failure)

ONSET AND PROGRESSION

Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL type is a chronic condition that rapidly worsens. The median survival of persons diagnosed with this condition is about 1 year.

TREATMENT

Medical therapy of persons with cardiac amyloidosis – AL type is only of limited value. Heart transplantation may also be considered; and it usually increases life expectancy, although it is often less than that of other heart transplant recipients.

     

SUGGESTED PROGRAMMATIC ASSESSMENT*

Suggested MER for Evaluation:

  • Clinical examination that describes the diagnostic features of cardiac involvement.

  • Tissue biopsy.

Suggested Listings for Evaluation:

DETERMINATION

LISTING

REMARKS

Meets Listing

  

Medical Equals

4.02

4.05

 

* Adjudicators may, at their discretion, use the Medical Evidence of Record or Listings suggested to evaluate the claim. However, the decision to allow or deny the claim rests with the adjudicator.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0423022580
DI 23022.580 - Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL Type - 09/11/2015
Batch run: 09/11/2015
Rev:09/11/2015