A novel biopsy method to increase yield of subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue

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Collection of abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) for research testing is traditionally performed using punch biopsy or needle aspiration techniques, yielding small amounts of very superficial SAT (100-500 mg). Although liposuction techniques can be used to obtain large amounts of SAT, these approaches can compromise the integrity of the adipose tissue. Therefore, we investigated a novel method using a 6-mm Bergström side-cutting biopsy needle to acquire suitable amounts of intact abdominal SAT for multiple complex studies such as flow cytometry, RNA extraction, ex vivo expression of molecular and posttranslational protein mediators, and histology. Fifty biopsies were obtained from 29 participants using a Bergström biopsy needle, applying transient manual suction and shearing large pieces of fat within the inner-cutting trochar. Eighteen of the biopsies were performed under ultrasound guidance, whereby we successfully sampled deep SAT (dSAT) from below Scarpa’s fascia. The average weight of SAT sampled was 1.5 ± 0.4 g. There was no clinically important bleeding or ecchymosis on the abdominal wall and no infection occurred with this procedure. The 6-mm Bergström biopsy needle yielded substantially more SAT than what has been obtained from superficial procedures and, for the first time, allowed sampling of dSAT by a percutaneous approach.

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