OBJECTIVE: Various methods have been used to obtain samples to study the structure of human respiratory muscles and the expression of diverse substances in them. Samples are most often obtained from autopsies, from muscle biopsies during thoracotomy performed because of a localized pulmonary lesion (TLL), and from ambulatory thoracoscopic biopsy in patients free of comorbidity (AT). The disadvantage of the first 2 of these methods lies in the possibility of interference from factors related to the patient's death in the first case or from the disease that necessitated surgery in the second. Although AT is free from the disadvantages of the other 2 methods, it is impossible to obtain samples of the diaphragm -the principal respiratory muscle- with this procedure. The objective of this study was to analyze the fibrous structure of the external intercostal muscle of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and to quantify the expression of the principal inflammatory cytokine-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)- and of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in the same muscle, comparing the results obtained with TLL and AT samples. METHODS: Prospective and consecutive samples were taken of the external intercostal muscle (fifth space, anterior axillary line) in 15 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (mean [SD] age 66  years; forced expiratory volume in 1 second 49% [9%] of predicted; PaO2 75  mm Hg). Samples were taken during TLL (8 patients, all with pulmonary neoplasms but carefully selected in order to rule out systemic effects) or TA (7 patients). Patients with serious comorbidity were excluded from the second group. Samples were processed for structural analysis of fibers (immunohistochemical and enzymatic histochemical) and genetic expression of TNF-α and IGF-1 (real-time polymerase chain reaction). RESULTS: No differences in the structure of fibers were found between the 2 groups. No differences were observed in the expression of TNF-α or IGF-1. CONCLUSIONS: Using rigorous criteria, the TLL method appears to be suitable for studying the structural characteristics and expression of inflammatory cytokines and growth factors in the external intercostal muscle. Moreover, it can also be inferred that TLL is probably also useful for obtaining samples of the diaphragm, a muscle which cannot currently be sampled by any alternative method.
|Journal||Archivos de Bronconeumologia|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2004|
- Growth factor
- Respiratory muscles