Association Between Atrial Uptake on Cardiac Scintigraphy With Technetium-99m-Pyrophosphate Labeled Bone-Seeking Tracers and Atrial Fibrillation

Muzna Hussain, Alison Krywanczyk, Eoin Donnellan, Trejeeve Martyn, Ossama Abou Hassan, Saqer Alkharabsheh, Chris Watson, W. H. Tang, Deborah Kwon, Paul Cremer, Feixiong Cheng, Mohamed Kanj, Brian Griffin, Carmela Tan, E. Rene Rodriguez, Mazen Hanna, Wael Jaber, Patrick Collier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (ATTR-CA) is an increasingly recognized disease, in which atrial fibrillation (AF) has been shown to be prevalent. Cardiac scintigraphy with technetium-99m-pyrophosphate (99mTc-PyP) labeled bone-seeking tracers is used to noninvasively make the diagnosis of ATTR-CA, based on ventricular myocardial uptake. Assessment of atrial wall uptake (AU) on 99mTc-PyP is currently not used in the clinical setting Methods: We analyzed a cohort of patients referred for 99mTc-PyP scan at a tertiary center to explore AU and associations between any and incident AF, ATTR-CA, and all-cause mortality. RESULTS: Among 580 patients included, 296 patients (51%) had a diagnosis of AF; 164 patients (28%) had scans consistent with ATTR-CA while 117 patients (20%) had AU. Of 117 patients with AU, 107 (91%) had any AF. In contrast, of 463 patients without AU 191(41%) had any AF. Of those with AU, 59/117(50%) patients had a 99mTc-PyP diagnosis of ATTR-CA while 58/117(50%) patients did not have such a diagnosis (P=1.00). Patients with AU had significantly more any AF (hazard ratio [HR], 1.03 [95% CI, 1.02-1.04]; P<0.001), independent of ATTR-CA diagnosis and sex. On multivariable Cox proportional hazards analyses adjusting for age, AU, ATTR-CA diagnosis, sex, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, left ventricular ejection fraction, and coronary artery disease, both age (HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.02-1.04]; P<0.0001) and AU (HR, 2.68 [95% CI, 2.11-3.41]; P<0.0001) were independently associated with the development of any AF. Freedom from incident AF at 1-year was significantly lower in patients with AU, both in patients with and without ATTR-CA respectively (HR, 2.27 [95% CI, 1.37-3.78]; P<0.0001 versus HR, 2.21 [95% CI, 1.46-3.34]; P<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: In a consecutive cohort of patients undergoing 99mTc-PyP scans, 20% had AU, which was statistically associated with any AF, independently of ATTR-CA diagnosis and sex. AU was associated with significantly lower freedom from incident AF at 1-year. Overlooking AU on 99mTc-PyP scans could potentially miss an earlier disease manifestation, or an additional risk factor for any/incident AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e013829
JournalCirculation. Cardiovascular imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • amyloidosis
  • atrial fibrillation
  • calcium
  • radionuclide imaging
  • technetium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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