Background Muscle biopsy is important in the investigation of neuromuscular diseases. Clinical trials may require multiple muscle biopsies to be performed. However, complication rates are uncertain. We surveyed patients that had undergone muscle biopsy regarding their experience, perceived complications and the acceptability of undergoing a repeat biopsy.
Methods Patients having undergone a tibialis anterior muscle biopsy under local anaesthetic at a UK neurology day-case unit (January 2014–October 2015) were sent a questionnaire to complete either on paper, on-line or over the telephone.
Results We obtained 41 completed questionnaires (51% response rate). Respondents had a mean age of 53 years and 73% were male. All patients felt that they had been fully informed about what the procedure would involve and the potential risks. 17% felt pain during the procedure and five (13%) felt that they had experienced a post-procedure complication (allergy/minor wound infection, persistent pain, persistent tingling, minor bleeding and “tinnitus”). One patient (2%) required medical review after the procedure (GP prescribed antibiotics). 66% “strongly agreed” when asked if they would be prepared to have a repeat biopsy.
Conclusions This small patient reported outcome study suggests that percutaneous tibialis anterior muscle biopsy is safe and well tolerated.
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