Interpretive Handbook

Test 8482 :
Fibroblast Culture

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Cultures of skin fibroblasts may be helpful in diagnosing many of the lysosomal storage disorders such as the sphingolipidoses or mucopolysaccharidoses. In addition, numerous assays including those for genetic disorders of collagen, DNA repair, fatty acid oxidation, and pyruvate metabolism can be diagnosed using fibroblasts.


Cells from skin biopsies can be cultured at Mayo Clinic and sent to laboratories performing these specialized tests. Cells are frozen for potential future studies on cultured cells or DNA diagnostic procedures.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

A preliminary step in obtaining material for the diagnosis of many lysosomal storage disorders and other genetic conditions

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

In the rare event that the biopsy fails to result in fibroblastic outgrowth, the client will be informed as soon as possible.


Mycoplasma screening will be performed on all successfully grown fibroblast cultures. If Mycoplasma is detected, all pending fibroblast clinical testing will be cancelled and the samples will be discarded.


Both laboratory and clinical contacts are available to help with test selection

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Potential interfering factors:

-Lack of viable cells or bacterial contamination

-Failure to transport tissue in an appropriate media

-Excessive transport time

-Exposure of the specimen to temperature extremes (freezing or >30 degrees C)

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Not applicable

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Paul J: Cell and Tissue Culture. Fifth edition. New York, Churchill Livingstone, 1975