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    Synovial biopsy

    Biopsy - synovial membrane

    A synovial biopsy is the removal of a piece of tissue lining a joint for examination. The tissue is called the synovial membrane.

    How the Test is Performed

    The test is done in the operating room during anarthroscopy.

    The health care provider will inject a numbing medicine (local anesthetic) into the area. An instrument called a trocar is inserted into the joint space. This tool helps push fluid in and out of the area. A biopsy grasper is inserted through the trocar and turned to cut out a tissue segment.

    The tools are removed.A bandage is applied.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    Tell your health care provider:

    • If you are pregnant
    • If you ever had a problem with anesthesia
    • If you have any drug allergies
    • If you have bleeding problems
    • What medications you are taking (including any herbal medicines and supplements)

    How the Test Will Feel

    With the local anesthetic, you will feel a prick and a burning sensation. As the trocar is inserted, there will be some discomfort.

    Why the Test is Performed

    Synovial biopsy helps diagnose gout, bacterial infections, or other infections. It can be used to diagnosecertain autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis.

    Normal Results

    The synovial membrane structure is normal.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    Synovial biopsy may identify the following conditions:

    • Coccidioidomycosis (a fungal infection)
    • Fungal arthritis
    • Gout
    • Hemochromatosis (abnormal accumulation of iron deposits)
    • Tuberculosis
    • Synovial cancer

    The test may help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases.

    Risks

    There is a very slight chance of infection and bleeding. Rarely, there is a chance of the needle striking a nerve or blood vessel.

    Considerations

    You will need to keep the wound clean and dry until your doctor or nurse says it is okay to get it wet.

    References

    El-Gabalawy HS. Synovial fluid analysis, synovial biopsy, and synovial pathology. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Harris ED Jr., et al, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 48.

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    • Synovial biopsy

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      • Synovial biopsy

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Self Care

          Tests for Synovial biopsy

          Review Date: 8/11/2012

          Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

          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. 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.
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          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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