Cardiac Pathology

The Cardiac Pathology Service is an integral part of Johns Hopkins' internationally recognized program for the study and treatment of heart disease. In addition to our work with the hospital's cardiologists and transplant surgeons, we collaborate with clinicians and pathologists around the country on endomyocardial heart biopsies used for diagnosing heart failure and for monitoring heart transplant recipients. The vast experience of the center's physicians -- Hopkins performs and reviews hundreds of heart biopsies annually -- in combination with a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis, enables us to provide accurate diagnosis and second opinions as well as sound recommendations for treatment.


The Johns Hopkins Hospital has long attracted patients from around the world because of the excellence of its clinical, diagnostic and research work in the field of heart disease. We have a world-famous center for heart transplantation. We are also one of the few centers in the country that routinely performs endomyocardial heart biopsies, an option for diagnosing heart failure of unknown etiology or confirming a diagnosis attributable to disorders such as myocarditis, cardiomyopathy or amyloidosis. As such, we have unparalleled experience in interpreting heart biopsies and are widely consulted on the prognostic and therapeutic implications for transplant patients and for patients with heart failure.


Special capabilities and services
Immunofluorescence for Antibody Mediated Rejection. We provide a full service signout to evalute heart biopsies for AMR. We accept biopsies in Michel's (Zeus) transfer medium and perform C4d and C3d IF along with fibrinogen as a positive control. We will report results back the day the material arrives at Johns Hopkins.

Timely Results

Expect same-day review of heart biopsies. Final written reports will be faxed within three days, unless special studies such as electron microscopy or immunohistochemistry are required. In that case, reports may take several days longer.

Notable Accomplishments

The Cardiovascular Division has published over 250 peer-reviewed publications on diverse topics of pathology, genomics, and cardiovascular disease.

Special Ordering Instructions

Standard Specimen Processing

The laboratory provides expert evaluation of heart biopsies using:

Studies can be performed on tissue or on slides or blocks prepared elsewhere. Interpretations of cardiac biopsies are provided by experienced specialists.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Unstained Slides Requirement
Note that all tissue (unstained slides) must be submitted on a plus charged slide. The Immunopathology Laboratory recommends a white plus charged slide that is available from Cardinal Health. The catalogue number for the white plus slide is M6159-6, however one must specify to the vendor whether to order as one gross (pack of 144 slides), one case (10 packs per case).