How to perform and analyse synovial biopsies

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Apr;23(2):221-32. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2009.01.006.


Although most of the rheumatologic diseases can be diagnosed based on clinical examination combined with additional laboratory and radiographic tests, histological examination of synovial tissue may lead to the correct diagnosis and adjustment of therapy when neoplastic or granulomatous disease, deposition disease, or infection in spite of negative synovial fluid culture is suspected. For research purposes synovial tissue analysis is used to investigate the pathological changes of the synovium in studies aimed at elucidating the etiology and pathogenetic mechanisms involved in arthritis. In addition, the use of synovial biomarkers has been shown to be instrumental in the developmental process of new therapeutics. In this chapter, several minimally invasive techniques for acquiring synovial tissue samples, handling of the tissue, and the analysis thereof are described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis / metabolism
  • Arthritis / pathology*
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Synovitis / metabolism
  • Synovitis / pathology*


  • Biomarkers