The Muscle and Nerve Laboratory is committed to help practitioners diagnose nerve and muscle disorders. Muscle and nerve pathology is an important component of patient assessment. Abnormalities at a microscopic level can be found in some conditions even if there is a scarcity of clinical neuromuscular findings.
Muscle, nerve, and skin biopsies are performed by our neuromuscular specialists and further processed in the laboratory by highly experienced staff. Specimens are then interpreted by specialists who are trained in neuromuscular pathology. Our preferred technique for nerve and muscle biopsies is open biopsy under local anesthesia, as this reduces the likelihood of missing abnormalities in case of patchy involvement (i.e., inflammatory myopathies) and prevents undesired consequences of general anesthesia such as respiratory compromise, which might be seen in patients with neuromuscular disorders. Cauterization and suturing of the actual specimen are also avoided as this will cause artifacts. Skin punch biopsies are performed for evaluation of small fiber neuropathy.
Our laboratory also accepts surgical specimen obtained elsewhere for processing and interpretation. For nerve and muscle pathology, preliminary reports are prepared within a week of specimen submission. Skin biopsy reports are available within two weeks.