The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The feasibility and acceptability of muscle biopsy in epidemiological studies: findings from the hertfordshire sarcopenia study (HSS)

Patel, Harnish P., Syddall, H.E., Martin, H.J., Cooper, C., Stewart, C. and Sayer, A.A. (2011) The feasibility and acceptability of muscle biopsy in epidemiological studies: findings from the hertfordshire sarcopenia study (HSS) The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 15, (1), pp. 10-15. (doi:10.1007/s12603-010-0117-7). (PMID:21267515).

Record type: Article


Background: Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and strength, is associated adversely with disability, morbidity and mortality. Epidemiological findings suggest influences operating across the life course may be important. Our aim was to ascertain the feasibility and acceptability of obtaining muscle tissue from healthy older people in order to ultimately identify cellular mechanisms underlying life course influences on sarcopenia.

Methods: 105 men with documented birth weight consented to detailed assessment of muscle mass and strength, and a biopsy of the vastus lateralis using the Weil-Blakesley conchotome. Acceptability was ascertained by questionnaire and a 100mm pain Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). 100mm indicated severe pain.

Results: Muscle biopsy was successfully carried out in 102 out of 105 participants, mean yield 107mg (range 20–290mg). There were no serious wound complications. Ninety-three participants completed feedback questionnaires. The median pain VAS score during the procedure was 7mm (Interquartile range [IQR] 1–34), 4mm (IQR 0–16) one day after the procedure and 1mm (IQR 0–4) 7 days after the procedure. 60 (65%) participants were back to their normal levels of activity one day after the procedure. 85 (91%) found this procedure acceptable and would have the procedure again.

Conclusion: Muscle biopsy using a Weil-Blakesley conchotome is both feasible and acceptable in community dwelling older men participating in epidemiological research. The excellent yield of biopsy tissue will allow morphological and molecular studies of muscle to be integrated into an epidemiological study facilitating investigation of the mechanisms underpinning sarcopenia that could potentially be altered by life course influences.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 23 June 2010
Published date: January 2011
Keywords: sarcopenia, life course, epidemiology, muscle biopsy, weil-blakesley conchotome, hertfordshire cohort study


Local EPrints ID: 172619
ISSN: 1279-7707
PURE UUID: d52f67bb-825e-4ed7-a508-f0a51c328c3a
ORCID for H.E. Syddall: ORCID iD
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jan 2011 16:18
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017 16:33

Export record



Author: Harnish P. Patel
Author: H.E. Syddall ORCID iD
Author: H.J. Martin
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD
Author: C. Stewart
Author: A.A. Sayer

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.