The challenges of muscle biopsy in a community based geriatric population

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


To describe the difficulties of obtaining muscle samples using a Bergstrom needle technique in a frail older adult population. The data were obtained from a study primarily investigating immunosenescence in frailty. An intended research technique was skeletal muscle biopsy in a small subset of participants to investigate muscle morphology and local inflammatory factors.

Forty healthy older adults and 37 frail older adults were considered for a Bergstrom needle muscle biopsy. Of these, 17.5% of healthy older adults and 94.6% of the frail older adults had single or multiple participant factors resulting in a contra-indication to muscle biopsy. 40.7% of healthy older female participants were at risk of a failed muscle biopsy due to low muscle mass. Considering only muscle mass muscle biopsy would have been successful in 18.7% of the frail older women and 21.4% of the frail older men. In this population, muscle biopsy was not feasible because of contra-indications in the majority of participants. This questions whether a biopsy sample obtained from frail older individuals, is actually representative of this population and supports the need to disclose biopsy failure rate in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number830
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2018


  • Bergstrom needle
  • Frailty
  • Percutaneous muscle biopsy
  • Sarcopenia


Dive into the research topics of 'The challenges of muscle biopsy in a community based geriatric population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this