ASNC2020 Young Investigator Awardee Describes His Cardiac Amyloidosis Research

Syed Bukhari, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, won this year's Young Investigator Award in Clinical Science for his abstract, “Development and Validation of a Diagnostic Model for Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis.” 

Syed Bukhari, MD 

Speaking with ASNC, Dr. Bukhari explained how the clinical Amyloidosis Prediction Score that he is testing could impact the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac amyloidosis. Here's our conversation:  

ASNC: Congratulations on your award-winning abstract, which focuses on your pilot-testing of a clinical Amyloidosis Prediction Score with the potential to predict whether a patient's PYP study will be positive. How would having a proven predictive score based on clinical variables assist physicians and patients?

SB: Thank you so much. This research is a pilot study aimed at developing a clinical scoring system that could predict the results of a Tc-99m PYP study. As we all know, ATTR cardiac amyloidosis is not only a misdiagnosed disease but also an underdiagnosed one. By exploring the predictors of a positive Tc-PYP scan and incorporating them into a scoring model, we may be able to help clinicians in the timely diagnosis of this fatal disease through recognition of a combination of key clinical, EKG, and echocardiographic features.

Importantly, in the meantime, we anticipate that this scoring system also would be beneficial with regards to appropriate resource utilization. Unnecessary testing could be avoided in those who do not exhibit the typical features. The key aspect of this study is that the clinical prediction score is derived from routinely evaluated clinical, EKG, and echocardiographic features, and does not rely on expensive and exhaustive testing.

ASNC: It's early days for the scoring model you are testing, but you found high accuracy for predicting a positive PYP test in your study of 400 patients. What needs to happen next to move your clinical Amyloidosis Prediction Score forward?

SB: That's a great question. We are in the process of collaborating with other institutions for application of this scoring system. This process of external validation is essential before the implementation of any scoring model to give it greater credibility and weightage. As it is often said, “It is never too early,”so we are looking towards working on partnering with other institutions as the next step.

ASNC: Is there anything you'd like to point out about your research or the Young Investigator Award?

SB: I would take this opportunity to thank ASNC for providing this wonderful platform for fellows to showcase their work. I have had a wonderful two-year journey as an amyloid fellow.1 The potential for research in the field of amyloid is immense, which is a great news from a patient-care standpoint.
Dr. Bukhari's abstract was one of more than 65 accepted for presentation at ASNC2020. All of the accepted basic science and clinical research abstracts are published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. REFERENCE
  1. Bukhari S. When you are the first-in-the-country fellow in a fellowship program that is as unheard of as the disease itself: cardiac amyloidosis fellowship. J Nucl Cardiol. 2020;27:1293-5.