Synovial Biopsy: An Overview
A synovial biopsy is a medical procedure used to obtain a sample of tissue from the synovial membrane, which lines the joints in the body. The tissue sample is then examined under a microscope to diagnose certain conditions of the joints. In addition, various tests can be performed on the tissue sample to monitor treatment progress or to determine the cause of a joint problem.
Preparation for Synovial Biopsy
The patient should not take any anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners for at least two weeks prior to the procedure. The patient may be asked to stop using these medications up to one month before the procedure in order to prevent possible complications. The patient should inform the doctor about any current medications taken for the joint problems.
Procedure of Synovial Biopsy
The procedure is done in an outpatient setting or under sedation, depending on the level of discomfort. It is important to have an experienced physician perform the biopsy to prevent complications. The doctor makes a small incision in the skin over the joint and inserts a needle into the joint space. The physician then extracts a sample of tissue for examination. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for further analysis.
Types of Synovial Biopsy
There are two types of synovial biopsy: an arthroscopic and an open biopsy. An arthroscopic biopsy is done using an arthroscope inserted into the joint with the help of a surgical camera. This method has the advantage of a quick and minimally invasive procedure with less recovery time. An open biopsy is done through a larger incision with the assistance of a scalpel. This is a more invasive procedure and requires more recovery time.
Risks and Complications of Synovial Biopsy
As with any medical procedure, there are certain risks and complications associated with synovial biopsy, such as infection, bleeding, and tissue damage. There is also a risk of nerve and tendon damage. Additionally, the needle may perforate adjacent structures, such as tendons, muscles, vessels, or nerves. Other rare risks include joint stiffness and a decrease in range of motion,.
Why is Synovial Biopsy Used?
Synovial biopsy is used to diagnose various conditions of the joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, infections, crystal arthropathies, and others. The procedure can also be used to monitor the progress of the treatment for the joint condition.
When is Synovial Biopsy Used?
Synovial biopsy is used when other diagnostic tests have not been able to reach a diagnosis for the condition of the joint. It can also be used to confirm a diagnosis or to monitor the patient’s response to treatment.