Myocardial biopsy

Heart biopsy; Biopsy - heart

Myocardial biopsy is the removal of a small piece of heart muscle for examination.

Heart, section through the middle

The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

Heart, front view

The external structures of the heart include the ventricles, atria, arteries and veins. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins carry blood into the heart. The vessels colored blue indicate the transport of blood with relatively low content of oxygen and high content of carbon dioxide. The vessels colored red indicate the transport of blood with relatively high content of oxygen and low content of carbon dioxide.

Biopsy catheter

When a small piece of heart muscle tissue is needed for examination, a heart biopsy can be performed. A catheter is carefully threaded into an artery or vein to gain access into the heart. A bioptome (catheter with jaws in its tip) is then introduced. Once the bioptome is in place, three to five small pieces of tissue from the heart muscle are removed. The test is performed routinely after heart transplantation to detect potential rejection. It may also be performed when cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, cardiac amyloidosis, or other disorders are suspected.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

What Abnormal Results Mean

Risks