SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.52 issue3Asilar impression and Arnold-Chiari malformation: surgical findings in 260 casesHistory of the study of myasthenia gravis at Neurology Clinics of Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X


P, Luiz Fernando Bleggi-Torres  and  NORONHA, Lúcia de. The role of muscle biopsy in the diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1994, vol.52, n.3, pp.370-375. ISSN 0004-282X.

Most of the neuromuscular diseases have similar clinical presentation affecting mainly young patients. Clinical observations, serum enzymes, eletromyographic studies and muscle biopsy are required for correct diagnosis. The authors show the results of morphological observations of a series of 124 muscle biopsies studied between 1988 and 1992 using conventional paraffin embedded material, frozen sections of muscle tissue stained by several histochemical techniques, electron microscopic observations and, in some cases, morphometric analysis of the smaller diameter of at least 100 random muscle fibres. Neurogenic atrophy was present in 27% of the cases (n=33), dystrophic muscle was diagnosed in 26%, mitochondrial myopathy in 7% while inflammatory and metabolic myopathies were less frequent. In the group of muscle dystrophy most cases were of Duchenne type showing great variation in fibre size ranging from 10 to 110 microns (mean=30 to 70 microns). There was also muscle necrosis and fatty changes. Neurogenic biopsies showed fibre atrophy with clustering of nuclei and group atrophy. Electron microscopic observations in cases of Werdnig-Hoffmann showed tiny fibres with less than 5 microns in great dimension and also with redundant basal laminae. Cases of mitochondrial myopathy showed the classical ragged red fibres and many different mitochondrial abnormalities under the electron microscope. Many cases (33%) showed only minor structural abnormalities or end-stage alterations with marked fatty infiltration and fibrosis so that a definitive diagnosis failed to be achieved. The correct selection and handling of muscle biopsies is important for adequate diagnosis in neuromuscular pathology.

Keywords : myopathy; neuromuscular diseases; muscle histochemistry; electron microscopy.

        · abstract in Portuguese     · text in Portuguese     · Portuguese ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License