Background: Analyses of lymphoid organs are required to further elucidate the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Yet, invasive tissue collection methods are scarcely applied, because they are often considered burdensome, although patients do not always consider invasive methods as a high burden. We aimed to investigate the perspectives of study participants undergoing ultrasound-guided inguinal lymph node (LN) needle biopsy sampling and determine the molecular and cellular quantity and quality of LN biopsies. Methods: Together with patient research partners, questionnaires were developed to evaluate the motives, expectations, and experiences of participants undergoing a LN biopsy. Healthy controls and RA(-risk) patients were asked to complete these questionnaires before and after the procedure. RNA and lymphocyte yields from obtained LN biopsies were also calculated. Results: We included 50 individuals, of which 43 (86%) reported their pre- and post-procedure experiences. The median reported pain on a 5-point Likert scale (1 not to 5 very painful) was 1. Interestingly, almost all (n = 32; 74%) study participants would undergo a second procedure and more than half (n = 23; 54%) would encourage others to take part in the LN biopsy study. Motives for current and future participation were mostly altruistic. Inguinal hematoma occurred frequently, but no other significant or unexpected complications ensued. The LN biopsies yielded sufficient and high-quality RNA and lymphocyte numbers. Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided inguinal LN biopsy sampling is well-tolerated, safe, and provides sufficient material for further molecular and cellular analyses. Our participants’ positive experiences endorse the application of this research tool to further elucidate the pathogenesis of RA and other inflammatory diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)36
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Patient’s perspective
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Translational research
  • Ultrasound-guided lymph node biopsies

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