Evaluation of a modified needle for small joint biopsies

J Rheumatol. 1998 May;25(5):876-8.


Objective: To assess the value of a new short biopsy needle modified from the Parker-Pearson needle in obtaining adequate synovial tissue from small joints.

Methods: The short needle is 2.5 cm in length with a repositioned hooked biopsy notch closer to the end of the needle to allow better specimen retrieval. It can be used to obtain synovial biopsies from small joints of the hand using the usual arthrocentesis approaches.

Results: Ten patients underwent 12 synovial biopsies with a success rate of 92%. No complications from the procedure were observed. Samples obtained were adequate for a variety of studies including synovial histopathological evaluation, electron microscopy, and DNA extraction.

Conclusion: The new modified short needle expands the spectrum of joints that can be biopsied for diagnostic and research purposes in an outpatient setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Biopsy, Needle / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Finger Joint / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology*