Re: what will muscle biopsy tell me?
I have had a needle biopsy. In the procedure, the doctor numbs your muscle, in my case my thigh, with Novocain or something similar. He then inserts a large hollow needle into the muscle to extract a tiny piece of muscle about the size of a pencil eraser. Usually he will take 3 or 4 samples.
Several tests can be done on the samples. Microscopy: this is where they look at your muscle through a microscope. They can immediately see if the tissue is normal (the muscle cells will look pink and round and healthy) or abnormal (shriveled or broken or tiny). This would indicate a muscle disease. (This was my case). In another test called muscle staining they place drops of different chemicals on tiny pieces of the sample. If it turns a certain color that means you have a certain muscle disease.
Let me say however that there are many many expensive stain tests. They will only test for a few that they might suspect. It would cost tens of thousands to test for everything. And they only have tests for about 1/3 of all know MDs. The test results may all be negative (again, my case). Often the patient lucks out and gets a definitive diagnosis.
The procedure will leave you with a sore muscle for several days like a bad bruise. I felt like I'd been kicked by a donkey but during the procedure you should not feel too much discomfort.
Last edited by michigani; 04-18-2010 at 02:59 PM.