Muscle & nerve

Histological characterization and biochemical analysis of paraspinal muscles in neuromuscularly healthy subjects.

PMID 25307884


There are no generally accepted histopathological reference values in paraspinal skeletal muscle biopsies. We examined multifidii muscle biopsies from 20 neuromuscularly healthy subjects using routine histological stains and biochemical analyses of respiratory chain enzymes. Staining showed incomplete myopathic features, such as increased variability in fiber size, type 1 hypertrophy, rounded fiber shape, endomysial fibrosis, and replacement by adipose tissue. Acid phosphatase reaction was positive in up to 35% of the selected muscle fibers. Mitochondrial changes were obvious but revealed no selective age dependence. Reduced complex I, cytochrome c oxidase (COX), and citrate synthase (CS) could be observed. Because the increased variability in morphological details can easily be misinterpreted as myopathic changes, analysis of paraspinal muscles should take into consideration that incomplete myopathic features and reduced oxidative enzyme activities for complex I, COX, and CS are normal variations at this location.