Welcome to the Neuromuscular Pathology Lab at the University of Colorado | Anschutz Medical Campus


 

 

Neuromuscular Path Lab Procedures (PDF)

 

 

Muscle Biopsy

For optimal results, we recommend following these steps:

1. Identify a muscle which is mildly to moderately weak (MRC grade 4- to 4+) since weaker muscle often only show nonspecific end stage changes. Muscles which are commonly biopsied and have normative histopathological data include the deltoid (posterior division), biceps, quadriceps (vastus lateralis), and gastocnemius muscles. The gastocnemius has more variation and often wound healing is more difficult compared to other sites. Please contact us if you are unable to decide on which muscle to biopsy before beginning biopsy and we will try to assist you.

2. Relative contraindications to having a muscle biopsy include patients with a bleeding diathesis or receiving anticoagulation are best assessed by the surgeon performing the procedure.

3. When anesthetizing the skin and subcutaneous tissue, do not infiltrate the muscle with the anesthetic, this causes artifacts.

4. Isolate a 15 mm long specimen with a diameter of 5-10mm. Sutures around the width of the specimen helps us orient it correctly. We strongly discourage the use of muscle clamps, as this induces trauma and consequently, unacceptable levels of artifact.

5. Wrap the biopsy in moist saline gauze, and place in a puncture-resistant container. DO NOT FLOAT THE SPECIMEN IN SALINE.

6. If the specimen is to be delivered within the hour (cab, courier) it can be sent at room temperature. If overnight delivery is necessary, place the container in a styrofoam box and surround it with coolant packs (Blue Ice). Do not send on wet ice, as it tends to melt through the box. Request priority overnight delivery. It is important to notify our office that a biopsy is expected, so that we can trace missing packages quickly.

 

Please contact us with any questions you may have via email neuromuscular-lab@ucdenver.edu; or at 303-724-4342 (Neuromuscular Pathology Lab) or 303-724-2188 (Neuromuscular Office)

 


 

Nerve Biopsy

For optimal results, we recommend following these steps:

1. Relative contraindications to having a nerve biopsy such as a hypocoagulable state are best assessed by the surgeon performing the procedure.

2. Please submit two (2) 20 mm long specimens of the sural nerve for full interpretation.

3. Wrap the specimens in moist saline gauze, and place in a puncture-resistant containers (2). DO NOT FLOAT THE SPECIMEN IN SALINE.

4. If the specimen is to be delivered within the hour (cab, courier) it can be sent at room temperature. If overnight delivery is necessary, place the containers in a styrofoam box and surround it with coolant packs (Blue Ice). Do not send on wet ice, as it tends to melt through the box. Request priority overnight delivery. It is important to notify our office that a biopsy is expected, so that we can trace missing packages quickly.

 

Please contact us with any questions you may have via email neuromuscular-lab@ucdenver.edu; or at 303-724-4342 (Neuromuscular Pathology Lab) or 303-724-2188 (Neuromuscular Office).

 

 


 

Lab Certification

 

CLIA Certificate

Download CLIA certificate here

 

CPT Codes

CPT Codes for Muscle Biopsies

  • 88305 X 1
  • 88319 X 7-9
  • 88314 X 4

CPT Codes for Nerve Biopsies

  • 88305 X 1
  • 88319 X 4