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July 27, 1984

Vastus Lateralis Muscle Biopsy

Author Affiliations

University of California College of Medicine Irvine

JAMA. 1984;252(4):482-483. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350040014012

To the Editor.—  During the past ten years, the muscle biopsy technique has become a valuable asset to researchers in sports medicine and exercise physiology for examining various properties of skeletal muscle. Somewhat surprisingly, the risks of this procedure have not been well documented, despite the fact that both researchers and institutional review boards have recognized more clearly the importance of establishing the relative safety of such methods. The lack of documentation for muscle biopsy led us, during the course of planning a comprehensive physiological study of athletes, to incorporate a prospective surveillance of the recovery of subjects from vastus lateralis muscle biopsy. Athletes were evaluated for immediate and delayed complications, barriers encountered in training resumption, and duration of recovery periods.Thirty swimmers and nine divers— mean age, 18.7 years—participated in the study. All athletes had participated in the US National Championships of their respective sport, 36% had been national