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An endomyocardial biopsy, also referred to as a heart biopsy, is a type of cardiac catheterization procedure used to collect a sample of your heart muscle tissue so it can be analyzed more closely in a laboratory.
Your doctor may recommend this procedure in order to:
- Determine the chance of rejection after a heart transplant
- Diagnose myocarditis
- Help diagnose cardiomyopathy or cardiac amyloidosis (if standard diagnostic tests do not provide enough information)
At Houston Methodist, a team of interventional cardiologists, anesthesiologists and pathologists work together to conduct this advanced diagnostic procedure.
How Endomyocardial Biopsy Is Performed
While under local anesthesia, your interventional cardiologist threads a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) through a vein in your neck or groin, moving it into your heart’s right ventricle. A small piece of heart muscle tissue is then be collected. The sample is about the size of the head (top) of a pin.
Once obtained, a laboratory pathologist analyzes and tests the sample(s). Your cardiologist then reviews the findings and makes a diagnosis.