A method for the ultrastructural preservation of tiny percutaneous needle biopsy material from skeletal muscle
- Authors: Tiziana Pietrangelo, Stefano Perni, Guglielmo Di Tano, Giorgio Fanò-Illic, Clara Franzini-Armstrong
Published online on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
- Pages: 965-970
- DOI: 10.3892/ijmm.2013.1454
Skeletal muscle biopsies require transecting the muscle fibers resulting, in structural damage near the cut ends. Classically, the optimal ultrastructural preservation has been obtained by the use of relatively large biopsies in which the tissue fibers are restrained by ligating to a suitable retaining support prior to excision, and by examining regions at some distance from the cut ends. However, these methods require invasive surgical procedures. In the present study, we present and substantiate an alternative approach that allows for the excellent ultrastructural preservation of needle biopsy samples, even the very small samples obtained through tiny percutaneous needle biopsy (TPNB). TPNB represents an advantage, relative to standard muscle biopsy techniques and to other needle biopsies currently in use, as in addition to not requiring a skin incision, it leaves no scars in the muscle and requires an extremely brief recovery period. It is most appropriate for obtaining repeated samples in horizontal studies, e.g., in order to follow changes with athletic training and/or aging in a single individual and for studies of sarcopenic muscles in elderly patients. Due to the small size of the sample, TPNB may present limited usefulness for classical pathology diagnostics. However, it offers the major advantage of allowing multiple samples within a single session and this may be useful under specific circumstances.