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Real-Time Magnetic Resonance Imaging Guidance Improves the Diagnostic Yield of Endomyocardial Biopsy



Diagnostic yield of endomyocardial biopsy is low, particularly in disease that affects the myocardium in a non-uniform distribution. We hypothesized that real-time MRI guidance could improve the yield through targeted biopsy of focal myocardial pathology.


An animal model of focal myocardial pathology was created by infusing 3mL of fluorescent microspheres (NuFlow Hydrocoat, 15μm diameter, 5 million spheres/mL) followed by 2mL of 100% ethanol to a branch coronary artery. Animals were survived for minimum 14days, before undergoing MRI guided endomyocardial biopsy using a custom 6.5Fr active visualization MRI-conditional bioptome and X-ray guided biopsy using a commercial bioptome. Specimens were analyzed using a dissecting microscope under ultraviolet light to determine the proportion of 'on-target' specimens containing fluorescent microspheres.


A total of 77 specimens were obtained using real-time MRI guidance and 87 using X-ray guidance, in five animals. Specimens obtained with the MRI-conditional bioptome were smaller compared with the commercial X-ray bioptome. Real-time MRI guidance significantly increased the diagnostic yield of endomyocardial biopsy (82% vs. 56% on-target biopsy specimens with real-time MRI vs. X-ray guidance, p<0.01).


Endomyocardial biopsy performed using real-time MRI guidance is feasible and significantly improves the diagnostic yield compared with X-ray fluoroscopy guidance.

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