Diagnostic value of blind synovial biopsy in clinical practice

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006 Feb;45(2):192-5. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kei117. Epub 2005 Oct 18.


Objective: To assess the diagnostic value of blindly performed synovial biopsies in carefully selected patients with unclassified arthritis.

Methods: Synovial tissue was obtained blindly under local anaesthesia. The Arthroforce III take-apart 3.5 mm needle and 1.5 mm grasping forceps were used for this purpose.

Results: Four patients with unclassified arthritis could be diagnosed properly based upon examination of synovial tissue of the knee obtained by an easy-to-perform blind biopsy. The arthritis of the four patients was diagnosed as being part of Erdheim-Chester disease, sarcoidosis, multicentric reticulohistiocytosis and arthritis caused by foreign-body material, respectively.

Conclusions: Analysis of synovial tissue obtained during a blind biopsy procedure has diagnostic potential in carefully selected patients with unclassified arthritis. The common denominator in all the cases presented was a differential diagnosis consisting of a rheumatological disease with characteristic histological features.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis / etiology
  • Arthritis / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Erdheim-Chester Disease / complications
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / complications
  • Histiocytosis, Non-Langerhans-Cell / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology*