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Feasibility, accuracy and safety of a percutaneous fine-needle biopsy technique to obtain qualitative muscle samples of the lumbar multifidus and erector spinae muscle in persons with low back pain

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The lumbar muscular system, in particular the lumbar multifidus muscle (LM) and the erector spinae muscle (ES), plays an important role in stabilizing and mobilizing the lumbar spine. Based on the topography, the lumbar paraspinal muscles can be classified into local and global muscles. LM is part of the local system, whereas ES is part of the global system. Therefore, it is interesting to investigate the muscle fibre type composition in both muscles. There is accumulating evidence that nonspecific chronic low back pain is associated with lumbar muscle dysfunction. To further elucidate this lumbar paraspinal muscle dysfunction, it is important to understand the structural characteristics of individual muscle fibres of LM and ES. Muscle fibre type composition can be investigated in muscle tissue samples. So far, muscle samples are taken by using invasive procedures that are not well tolerated. The aim of this article was to evaluate the feasibility, accuracy and safety of a percutaneous fine‐needle biopsy technique to obtain muscle samples from LM and ES in persons with nonspecific chronic low back pain and to evaluate the feasibility of performing immunofluorescence analysis of myosin heavy chain isoform expression to investigate muscle fibre type composition. Preliminary investigations in cadavers were performed to determine the optimal vertebral level and puncture site to obtain muscle samples of LM and ES through a single skin puncture. In 15 persons with nonspecific chronic low back pain, muscle samples of LM and ES were taken under local anaesthesia with the percutaneous fine‐needle biopsy technique, preceded by determination of the puncture site with ultrasonography. Muscle fibre type composition was investigated using immunofluorescence analysis of myosin heavy chain expression. The subjects reported little or no pain and were willing to repeat the procedure. The obtained muscle tissue contained transverse‐sectioned muscle fibres in which muscle fibre contractile characteristics of the paraspinal muscles could be evaluated with immunofluorescence analysis of the myosin heavy chains. We can conclude that percutaneous microbiopsy appears to be feasible and accurate, and safe to use to obtain muscle tissue from the paraspinal muscles. The use of ultrasonography to determine the puncture site is necessary to ensure biopsy of the correct muscles and to ensure the safety of the procedure.
Journal: Journal of Anatomy
ISSN: 0021-8782
Issue: 4
Volume: 233
Pages: 542 - 551
Publication year:2018
Keywords:lumbar paraspinal muscles, muscle architecture, muscle biopsy, muscle fibre characteristics, muscle fibre typing, muscle morphology