A muscle biopsy is the removal of a small piece of muscle tissue for examination.
Alternative Names: Biopsy - muscle
How the test is performed:
A muscle biopsy can usually be obtained while you are awake and the area being biopsied is numbed by local anesthesia. A needle biopsy may be adequate in children and adults with chronic conditions. In this procedure, a needle in inserted into the muscle. When the needle is removed, a small piece of tissue remains in the needle. The tissue is sent to a laboratory for examination.
More than one needle insertion may be needed to get a large enough sample.
Open biopsy involves a small cut through the skin and into the muscle, so that a piece of muscle tissue can be removed from the affected area.
A muscle that has recently been injured, such as by an EMG needle, or that is affected by pre-existing condition, such as nerve compression, is not a good choice for a biopsy.
How to prepare for the test:
No fasting or other special preparation is usually necessary.
How the test will feel:
During the biopsy, there is usually minimal or no discomfort. You may feel some pressure or "tugging" sensations.
The anesthetic may burn or sting when injected (before the area becomes numb). After the anesthetic wears off, the area may be sore for about a week.
Why the test is performed:
A muscle biopsy may be done to identify or detect:
A muscle biopsy may be also be done to tell the difference between nerve and muscle disorders.
Normal muscle and related tissue anatomy. A microscopic examination with and without staining that shows no abnormalities is normal.
What abnormal results mean:
A muscle biopsy can help diagnose the following conditions:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed include:
What the risks are:
The risks are small, but may include:
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
- Bleeding of the site
- Bruising of the area
- Damage to the muscle tissue or other tissues in the area (very rare)
|Review Date: 9/21/2006|
Reviewed By: Jeffrey Kauffman, MD, Sacramento Knee and Sports Medicine, Sacramento, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.