Diagnostic yield of muscle biopsy in infants: Retrospective analysis of clinical and histopathologic findings

Genc H. M., Guven A., TALİM B.

CLINICAL NEUROPATHOLOGY, vol.40, no.5, pp.286-291, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.5414/np301380
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.286-291
  • Keywords: muscle biopsy, infant, children, neuromuscular, mitochondrial disease, FLOPPY
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The aim was to define the clinical and histopathologic findings of infants who underwent muscle biopsy and identify the diagnostic yield of muscle biopsy in this cohort. Infants who underwent muscle biopsy from January 2010 to March 2017 at a tertiary hospital were included in the study (N = 87; 64 boys (73.6%), 23 girls (26.4%); age range 0 - 2 years; mean age 9.73 +/- 7.04 months). Clinical and histopathologic data were obtained from medical records. Developmental delay (64.4%) and hypotonia (59.8%) were the most frequent clinical findings, and mitochondrial disease (61%) was the most frequent clinical diagnosis, followed by muscular dystrophy (15.9%) and congenital myopathy (11.5%). Creatine kinase level was normal in 65.9% and > 1,000 U/L in 17.1%. Specific pathologic findings were identified from 38 biopsies (43.7%). The most frequent pathologic findings were features compatible with mitochondrial/metabolic myopathy (14 patients, 16.1%) and muscular dystrophy (12 patients, 13.8%). Myopathic changes were present in 7 biopsy samples (8.0%) and neurogenic changes in 5 (5.7%). The clinical and pathologic diagnoses were compatible in 24 patients (63.2%). The diagnostic yield of muscle biopsy remains significant, especially in this age group. Mitochondrial disease is a major diagnostic challenge, and muscle biopsy helps to support the clinical diagnosis and guide further studies.