muscle bx's

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From:Sue Danielson <>
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bob & Randy.  We are a muscle and nerve
histochemistry reference service, receiving samples from the greater
Milwaukee area and northern Illinois. We prefer to receive our samples on a
saline-moistened gauze (NOT SOAKING IN SALINE), kept cool with refrigerator
gel paks or wet ice.  Our lab then performs the freezing and histochemistry. 

One worry about sending muscle tissue fresh and not frozen in the past has
always been that delayed freezing of a skeletal muscle biopsy for enzyme
analysis may compromise pathologic diagnosis.  However, we have found that
there is negligible loss of enzyme activity upon receiving specimens that
have traveled up to 6 hours in a fresh, unfrozen state.  Samples received 24
hrs later, if packaged properly, have shown very minimal changes in enzyme

A good article on this subject is "Delayed Processing of Muscle Biopsy
Specimens:  Does it Really Compromise Enzyme Histochemistry?"  by Goss &
Prayson, Journal of Histotechnology, vol 21 #4 Dec 98

Hope this helps,

Susan Danielson, MS
Neuromuscular Lab Coordinator
Dept. Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin
ph: 414.259.3836

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