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synovial membrane

Saturday 19 November 2005

Adj. synovial. Normal synovium.; stratum synoviale ; synovium


Definition: The synovial membrane is a specialized connective tissue that lines the inner surface of capsules of synovial joints and tendon sheath.

It makes direct contact with the synovial fluid lubricant, which it is primarily responsible for maintaining.

In contact with the synovial fluid at the tissue surface are many rounded macrophage-like synovial cells (type A) and fibroblast-like (type B) synovial cells.

Type A cells maintains the synovial fluid by removing wear-and-tear debris and type B cells produces hyaluronan among other extracellular components in the synovial fluid.


- Case 258 : Normal synovium


The synovial membrane is variable but often has two layers :

- The inner layer (in contact with synovial fluid), or intima, consists of a sheet of cells thinner than a piece of paper.

- The outer layer, or subintima, can be of almost any type of connective tissue – fibrous (dense collagenous type), adipose (fatty; e.g. in intra-articular fat pads) or areolar (loose collagenous type).


- synovial pathology

See also

- joints

  • synovial fluid

- synovitis