The preferred technique for knee synovium biopsy and synovial fluid arthrocentesis

Marie Fuentes-Braesch, Gabriëlle J.M. Tuijthof, Pieter J. Emans, Kaj S. Emanuel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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For knee osteoarthritis and related conditions, analysis of biomarkers hold promise to improve early diagnosis and/or offer patient-specific treatment. To compare biomarker analyses, reliable, high-quality biopsies are needed. The aim of this work is to summarize the literature on the current best practices of biopsy of the synovium and synovial fluid arthrocentesis. Therefore, PubMed, Embase and Web of Science were systematically searched for articles that applied, demonstrated, or evaluated synovial biopsies or arthrocentesis. Expert recommendations and applications were summarized, and evidence for superiority of techniques was evaluated. Thirty-one studies were identified for inclusion. For arthrocentesis, the superolateral approach in a supine position, with a 0°-30° knee flexion was generally recommended. 18-gage needles, mechanical compression and ultrasound-guidance were found to give superior results. For blind and image-guided synovial biopsy techniques, superolateral and infrapatellar approaches were recommended. Single-handed tools were preconized, including Parker-Pearson needles and forceps. Sample quantity ranged approximately from 2 to 20. Suggestions were compiled for arthrocentesis regarding approach portal and patient position. Further evidence regarding needle size, ultrasound-guidance and mechanical compression were found. More comparative studies are needed before evidence-based protocols can be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1767-1779
Number of pages13
JournalRheumatology international
Issue number10
Early online date13 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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