Serial left-ventricular biopsy sampling using a minimally invasive trans-thoracic approach in adult dogs

Pflugers Arch. 2007 Sep;454(6):1043-51. doi: 10.1007/s00424-007-0261-z. Epub 2007 May 16.


Myocardial biopsies are an increasingly important tool to unravel the molecular mechanisms of cardiac disease. We evaluate a novel minimally invasive trans-thoracic approach for left-ventricular (LV) intra-mural biopsies, which enables repetitive individual sampling in adult dogs. Forty three generally anaesthesised dogs were studied during sinus rhythm (SR, control) and multiple times after the induction of volume overload hypertrophy (complete atrioventricular block [AVB]). Through a small cutaneous incision, an automatic biopsy needle was advanced into the apicolateral LV, guided by fluoroscopy. Electrocardiography (ECG), LV pressure and echocardiography served to monitor the procedure. One hundred eighty-eight intra-mural LV biopsies were obtained in 82 serial experiments (usually SR, 1, 2 and 6 weeks AVB) with a maximum of 8 repeated biopsies. All biopsies ( approximately 10 mm(3)) were suitable for simultaneous application of different cell-biological (light and electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry) and molecular techniques (PCR, Western blotting). In chronic experiments, repeated biopsy sampling did not influence haemodynamics, mechanics, electrocardiographic parameters or myocardial remodelling during SR or AVB. The rate of significant complications was as low as 4% of experiments. Minimally invasive sampling of LV needle biopsies enables serial assessment of myocardial remodelling using different molecular techniques in individual animals. The technique is safe and has no long-term effects on cardiac function or structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy, Needle / adverse effects
  • Biopsy, Needle / instrumentation
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Dogs
  • Electrocardiography
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Heart Function Tests
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / pathology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Supine Position
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology
  • Ventricular Remodeling