Editor's Choice| Volume 47, ISSUE 6, P517-525.e4, June 2022

Risk of Amyloidosis and Heart Failure Among Patients Undergoing Surgery for Trigger Digit or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Nationwide Cohort Study With Implications for Screening

  • Ravi F. Sood
    Corresponding author: Ravi F. Sood, MD, MS, Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington, 4245 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105.
    Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
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  • Angelo B. Lipira
    Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

    Operative Care Division, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
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Published:March 25, 2022DOI:


      Tenosynovial biopsy during carpal tunnel release (CTR) leads to an earlier diagnosis of amyloidosis. Surgery for trigger digit—trigger release (TR)—may provide a similar opportunity. We sought to characterize the risk of amyloidosis diagnosis after TR and/or CTR.


      We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adults without diagnosed amyloidosis undergoing TR and/or CTR in the Veterans Health Administration from 1999 to 2019, including matched controls. We used competing-risks methodology to estimate the cumulative incidence and adjusted subdistribution hazard ratios (sHRs) of amyloidosis, heart failure, and death after TR and/or CTR.


      Among the 126,788 patients undergoing TR and/or CTR, amyloidosis was diagnosed in 52 of 26,757 patients undergoing TR alone at a median of 4.7 years after surgery (10-year cumulative incidence: 0.26%, 95% CI: 0.18% to 0.34%), 396 of 91,384 patients undergoing CTR alone at a median of 5.1 years after surgery (10-year cumulative incidence: 0.60%, 95% CI: 0.53% to 0.67%), 50 of 8,647 patients undergoing both TR and CTR at a median of 3.1 years after surgery (10-year cumulative incidence: 0.80%, 95% CI: 0.54% to 1.1%), and 54 of 113,452 controls at a median of 5.0 years after the index date (10-year cumulative incidence 0.053%, 95% CI: 0.037% to 0.070%). In the adjusted analysis, patients who underwent TR and/or CTR had a higher risk of amyloidosis (TR: sHRadj 4.80, 95% CI: 3.33–6.92; CTR: sHRadj 10.2, 95% CI: 7.74–13.6; TR and CTR: sHRadj 14.9, 95% CI: 9.87–22.5) and heart failure (TR: sHRadj 1.91, 95% CI: 1.83–1.99; CTR: sHRadj 2.02, 95% CI: 1.97–2.07; TR and CTR: sHRadj 2.18, 95% CI: 2.04–2.33) but not death compared with the controls. Among the patients who underwent TR, age, Black race, prior CTR, heart failure, and the number of digits released were independent risk factors for amyloidosis.


      Patients undergoing TR and/or CTR are at increased risk of incident amyloidosis and heart failure compared to controls.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Prognostic II.

      Key words

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