Endomyocardial biopsy: A review of the literature
A review of the literature relating to endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) is presented. This is considered important at this time since EMB is being utilized with increasing frequency, particularly for the diagnosis of myocarditis. The development of the technique is briefly outlined. Emphasis is placed on the clinical application of EMB in the various primary cardiomyopathies (dilated, hypertrophic, restrictive, and obliterative), the infiltrative secondary cardiomyopathies (amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, hemochromatosis), myocarditis, as well as such conditions as adriamycin cardiotoxicity, cardiac transplant rejection, and Kawasaki disease. More controversial application of EMB in primary mitral valve prolapse (Barlow's syndrome), idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias, and the elucidation of the enigmatic finding of angina with angiographically normal coronary arteries is detailed. Experience with immunological and biochemical investigation of biopsy material, as well as with virus isolation and drug assays in the myocardium, is alluded to. Complications encountered with the procedure are also discussed, and its future role is contemplated.