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Muscle and Nerve Laboratory

In cases with limited neuromuscular findings, our Muscle and Nerve Laboratory helps improve diagnosis by finding abnormalities at a pathologic/microscopic level.  Muscle, nerve and skin biopsies are performed by specialists trained in neuromuscular pathology.

Muscle and Nerve Tissue in the Diagnosis of Neuromuscular Disease

In the Muscle and Nerve Laboratory at MNI, muscle, nerve and skin biopsies are performed by neuromuscular specialists and further processed by highly experienced staff.  In some conditions, abnormalities at a microscopic level can be found even when there is a scarcity of clinical neuromuscular findings.  Muscle and nerve pathology is an important component of patient assessment.

The preferred technique for nerve and muscle biopsies is open biopsy under local anesthesia, which reduces the likelihood of missing abnormalities in cases of patchy involvement, such as in inflammatory myopathies. This also prevents undesired consequences of general anesthesia such as respiratory compromise, which can occur in patients with neuromuscular disorders.

The laboratory accepts surgical specimens obtained elsewhere for processing and interpretation. For nerve and muscle biopsies, preliminary reports are prepared within three working days of specimen submission. Skin biopsy reports are available within two weeks.

Appointments and Referrals

For more information, call the clinical coordinator at (832) 325-7084.