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This manuscript describes a protocol at the University of Kentucky that allows a translational research team to collect human myocardium that can be used for biological research. We have gained a great deal of practical experience since we started this protocol in 2008, and we hope that other groups might be able to learn from our endeavors. To date, we have procured ~4000 samples from ~230 patients. The tissue that we collect comes from organ donors and from patients who are receiving a heart transplant or a ventricular assist device because they have heart failure. We begin our manuscript by describing the importance of human samples in cardiac research. Subsequently, we describe the process for obtaining consent from patients, the cost of running the protocol, and some of the issues and practical difficulties that we have encountered. We conclude with some suggestions for other researchers who may be considering starting a similar protocol.



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