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.
Review Date: 06/01/2010
Reviewed By: Issam Mikati, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School
of Medicine, Director, Northwestern Clinic Echocardiography Lab,
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed
Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical
Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)