Infiltrative cardiomyopathies result from the deposition or anomalous storage of specific substances in the heart, leading to impaired cardiac function and heart failure. In this review, we describe the utility of a variety of imaging modalities for the diagnosis of infiltrative cardiomyopathies and provide algorithms for clinicians to use to evaluate patients with these disorders. We have divided infiltrative cardiomyopathies into two different categories: (1) infiltrative cardiomyopathies characterised by increased wall thickness (eg, cardiac amyloidosis and Anderson-Fabry disease (AFD)) and (2) infiltrative cardiomyopathies that can mimic ischaemic or dilated cardiomyopathies (eg, cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) and iron overload cardiomyopathy). Echocardiography is the first modality of choice for the evaluation of cardiomyopathies in either category, and the differential can be narrowed using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and nuclear imaging techniques. The diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis is supported with key findings seen on echocardiography, CMR and nuclear imaging, whereas AFD can be suggested by unique features on CMR. CMR and nuclear imaging are also important modalities for the diagnosis of CS, while iron overload cardiomyopathy is mostly diagnosed using tissue characterisation on CMR. Overall, multimodality imaging is necessary for the accurate non-invasive diagnosis of infiltrative cardiomyopathies, which is important to ensure appropriate treatment and prognostication.
Mahesh K Vidula, Paco E Bravo