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June 2, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(5):441. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.62970050008008c

Although amyloidosis of the heart is a comparatively rare pathological entity, one certainly should be aware of its manifestations. The diagnosis is difficult, and no specific electrocardiographic findings have been reported as far as I could learn from the study of the literature, although most observers report abnormal electrocardiograms. Common abnormalities are auricular fibrillation; low voltage of the QRS and T waves, particularly in the extremity leads; impaired auriculoventricular conduction1; and in the precordial leads occasionally a pattern resembling anterior wall infarction.2 Clinically the severe form of cardiac amyloidosis leads to myocardial failure and death.3 I have recently seen a case of amyloidosis of the heart with remarkable P-wave alternation, a phenomenon that, as far as I could determine, has not been reported in connection with the pathology under discussion. Because these findings may prove specific in cases of cardiac amyloidosis, and because I wish to stimulate

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