Myocardial Biopsy

1 What is a Myocardial Biopsy?

Myocardial biopsy is an invasive procedure to detect heart disease by using a small catheter with a grasping device on the end called a bioptome to take a small piece of heart muscle tissue that is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

It is done to diagnose inflammation of the heart muscle called myocarditis or other cardiac disorders and after a heart transplant to evaluate or confirm the presence of rejection.

The doctor will instruct the patient whether any of the medications that patient is taking should be held or adjusted prior the procedure and about eating or drinking before the procedure (usually, food and fluids are restricted for 6 to 8 hours before). Also, the patient must inform the doctor of any medications that they are currently taking, any allergies, and all health problems.

During the procedure, a doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of the patient’s neck and make a small incision. Then a short, hollow tube called plastic introducer sheath is placed through the incision and a bioptome is inserted through the sheath into the right ventricle to take the samples of the heart muscle size of the head of the pin.

Bioptome is guided with a type of x-rays called fluoroscopy. After samples are taken, a bioptome and the sheath are removed and the firm pressure is held over the area to stop bleeding for next few hours.

Before he/she goes home, the patient will receive information on how to care for the wound site and when to return to normal activities. The patient must arrange for somebody to drive him/her home after the procedure.

A doctor will discuss the results of the heart biopsy with the patient when the results will be available.