Myocardial micro-biopsy procedure for molecular characterization with increased precision and reduced trauma

Sci Rep. 2020 May 15;10(1):8029. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-64900-w.


Endomyocardial biopsy is a valuable tool in cardiac diagnostics but is limited by low diagnostic yield and significant complication risks. Meanwhile, recent developments in transcriptomic and proteomic technologies promise a wealth of biological data from minimal tissue samples. To take advantage of the minimal tissue amount needed for molecular analyses, we have developed a sub-millimeter endovascular biopsy device, considerably smaller than current clinical equipment, and devised a low-input RNA-sequencing protocol for analyzing small tissue samples. In in vivo evaluation in swine, 81% of biopsy attempts (n = 157) were successful. High quality RNA-sequencing data was generated from 91% of the sequenced cardiac micro-biopsy samples (n = 32). Gene expression signatures of samples taken with the novel device were comparable with a conventional device. No major complications were detected either during procedures or during 7 days' follow-up, despite acquiring a relatively large number of biopsies (median 30) in each animal. In conclusion, the novel device coupled with RNA-sequencing provides a feasible method to obtain molecular data from the myocardium. The method is less traumatic and has a higher flexibility compared to conventional methods, enabling safer and more targeted sampling from different parts of the myocardium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy / adverse effects
  • Biopsy / instrumentation
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Biopsy / standards
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Ontology
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Heart Injuries / etiology
  • Heart Injuries / prevention & control
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Swine