The results of transvenous endomyocardial biopsy can frequently be used to diagnose myocardial diseases in patients with idiopathic heart failure. Endomyocardial biopsies in 100 consecutive patients revealed a substantial incidence of myocarditis

Circulation. 1984 Jan;69(1):93-101. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.69.1.93.


Transvenous endomyocardial biopsy is an accepted method to evaluate cardiac transplant rejection, but the clinical diagnostic value of the technique for other forms of cardiac disease has not been established. We performed biopsies in 100 consecutive patients without significant complications. The pathologic diagnostic information obtained was judged to be useful to the clinician in 54 and not useful in 46 patients. In 74 patients with congestive heart failure of unknown etiology and a dilated heart, useful pathologic diagnoses included myocarditis, vasculitis, doxorubicin cardiomyopathy, and congestive cardiomyopathy. In most of the patients with biopsy findings of myocarditis there were no other clinical or laboratory findings indicating the presence of this disease, and the diagnosis of myocarditis would have been overlooked without a biopsy. In 26 patients in whom there was clinical evidence of constrictive or restrictive cardiovascular physiologic characteristics, useful biopsy diagnoses included radiation-induced cardiomyopathy, endomyocardial fibrosis, amyloidosis, or no myocardial disease; in the patients without myocardial disease thoracotomies were performed for constrictive pericarditis. Transvenous endomyocardial biopsy can provide clinically useful information in the evaluation of diseases of the myocardium.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Cardiomyopathies / complications
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis*
  • Endocardium / pathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocarditis / complications
  • Myocarditis / diagnosis
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Myocardium / pathology*