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Review

Utility of synovial biopsy

Stefan Vordenbäumen1, Leo AB Joosten2, Johannes Friemann3, Matthias Schneider1 and Benedikt Ostendorf1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology, and Rheumatology, Heinrich Heine University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

2 Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

3 Institute for Pathology, Märkische Clinics, 58151 Lüdenscheid, Germany

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:256  doi:10.1186/ar2847

Published: 23 November 2009

Abstract

Synovial biopsies, gained either by blind needle biopsy or minimally invasive arthroscopy, offer additional information in certain clinical situations where routine assessment has not permitted a certain diagnosis. In research settings, synovial histology and modern applications of molecular biology increase our insight into pathogenesis and enable responses to treatment with new therapeutic agents to be assessed directly at the pathophysiological level. This review focuses on the diagnostic usefulness of synovial biopsies in the light of actual developments.