ROBERT E. FOWLES, M.D.; JAY W. MASON, M.D.
Endomyocardial biopsy has been used more frequently over the past 10 years in an increasing number of centers in this country and abroad. When done by an experienced physician, it is as safe as routine cardiac catheterization. Although biopsy is not yet applicable in all cases of myocardial disease, many investigators have found this procedure valuable in specific circumstances, including cardiac allograft rejection, anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy, and myocarditis. With this technique diagnoses can be made for various disorders including cardiac amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, hemochromatosis, and endomyocardial fibrosis. Although helpful in detecting an unsuspected condition or in formulating prognosis in some patients, biopsy is not diagnostically specific in patients with dilated or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, because these diseases have no completely pathognomonic features under current examination methods. The proper practice of endomyocardial biopsy requires both technical proficiency and expert pathologic interpretation. As a research tool, biopsy will continue to yield new knowledge about myocardial disease and its treatment.
FOWLES RE, MASON JW. Endomyocardial Biopsy. Ann Intern Med. ;97:885–894. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-97-6-885
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(6):885-894.
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