Patient Care,

Departments & Programs,UW Health,Neurology and Neurosurgery

Muscle and Nerve Lab

Muscle and Nerve Lab - Departments & Programs, UW Health, Neurology and Neurosurgery



Muscle, nerve, and punch skin biopsies are processed in the UWHC Muscle and Nerve Lab. A doctor may order a biopsy after discussion with a patient in order to verify a certain neuromuscular disease such as: myopathies, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis, severe muscle atrophy and neuropathy. 

For muscle biopsies, there is a standard set of twelve stains, and depending on diagnosis, additional stains and/or electron microscopy may be requested.  

For nerve biopsies, the standard set of stains are frozen H&E (if vasculitis is suspected), teasing, Toluidine blue sections and electron microscopy is standard.  

The PGP 9.5 stain is standard for a punch skin biopsy. 

Doctors who review the cases: Dr. Lotz, Dr. Salamat and Dr. Waclawik 

Our Providers 

Doctors who perform needle biopsies: Dr. Lotz, Dr. Waclawik and Dr. Gardon

Doctors who perform punch skin biopsies: Dr. Lotz, Dr. Waclawik and Dr. Gardon

Scheduling Biopsies

To schedule needle and punch skin biopsies, please call the Neurology Clinic at (608) 263-5442 or Jane Wenzel, at (608) 261-1838. 

Outpatient open biopsies are scheduled through Cindy Kleier or Jill Sawicki in the Muscle and Nerve Lab. Adult patients requiring a muscle or nerve biopsy should be referred by a physician by phone, fax or written instructions.  

Pediatric outpatient biopsies, depending on age of patient, are performed by Dr. Lotz or Dr. Waclawik (over the age of 5) or Dr. Nichol (under the age of 5). 

Outside Specimens

Muscle, nerve and punch skin biopsy specimens from outside hospitals or surgical facilities may be referred to the UW Hospital and Clinics Muscle and Nerve Lab for processing, staining and interpretation. Please follow the required protocols/procedures for sending muscle, nerve and punch skin biopsy specimens. 

Processing and Reports

Turn around time for muscle and nerve cases is approximately one week. Cases received during the week are batched and reviewed every Tuesday during a case conference and the reports reviewed are sent out by Friday afternoon. Electron Microscopy cases take approximately four weeks to process and report and punch skin biopsies take approximately six to eight weeks. 

Additional Information

Diagnostic Muscle, Nerve, and Punch Skin Biopsy