Protocol endomyocardial biopsy beyond 6 months—It is time to move on

Kyung T. Oh, Mohammed H. Mustehsan, Daniel J. Goldstein, Omar Saeed, Ulrich P. Jorde, Snehal R. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The optimal duration and frequency of routine surveillance endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) have been questioned in the current era of heart transplantation (HT), where the advances in immunosuppression and donor selection strategies have led to a decline in acute allograft rejection. We investigated the utility of routine EMB beyond 6 months post-HT. A single-center retrospective review was performed on 2963 EMBs from 220 HT recipients over 10 years. Each EMB was categorized into protocol or symptom-triggered biopsy and reviewed for rejection. Heart transplant recipients with ≥2 known risk factors for rejection were designated as an elevated risk group. The majority of rejections occurred within 3 months following HT. The yield of routine protocol EMBs was significantly lower than symptom-triggered EMBs, not only during the first 6 months post-HT (1.6% vs. 33.3%, P <.0001), but more so during the 6-12 months (0.1% vs 83.0%, P <.0001). A similar pattern was observed in heart transplant recipients at both elevated and standard risk for rejection. In conclusion, EMB was found to be a low-yield screening modality for rejection beyond 6 months post-HT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-829
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • biopsy
  • clinical research/practice
  • heart transplantation/cardiology
  • rejection: acute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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