Does synovial biopsy diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
Does a synovial biopsy help in the diagnosis of a systemic connective tissue disease such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
No. Although a synovial biopsy in a patient with RA may be compatible with the diagnosis, it is not pathognomonic. Clearly, spondyloarthropathies can produce synovial biopsies that look very much like those obtained from patients with RA although prominent plasma cell infiltration suggests RA.
In the future, synovial biopsies with histological and molecular analysis may better predict what biological therapy a patient is most likely to respond to.