Endomyocardial Biopsy

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Houston Methodist cardiologists perform an endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) in order to take samples of myocardial tissue from the heart’s middle wall. This procedure is most often used for heart transplant patients to determine the chances of organ rejection. Endomyocardial biopsy is also sometimes performed to help diagnose myocarditis, an inflammation of the myocardium, which is usually caused by a viral infection, or other various myocardial diseases. EMB is also used to diagnose cardiac disorders such as cardiomyopathy or cardiac amyloidosis, if standard diagnostic tests such as an EKG or chest X-ray do not provide enough information for a diagnosis, particularly when a patient’s condition worsens without cause.
Endomyocardial Biopsy Procedure
While the patient is under local anesthesia, the cardiologist threads a catheter through a vein in your neck or groin, moving it into the heart’s right ventricle. Once samples are obtained, the laboratory pathologist analyzes and tests the sample. The cardiologist will then review the findings and make a diagnosis.

Our comprehensive team approach involves experienced cardiologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists and others, as appropriate to conduct this advanced diagnostic procedure.