< Current issue
Dermatopathology: Practical & Conceptual July - September 2007
3. Question: Dermatopathologist, do you really need a microscope?
Mihaela Costache, M.D.
A pathologist is used to studying tissues by gross inspection before giving pieces of it into processing for preparation of sections stained with H & E. The analogue for a dermatopathologist is to study a patient's skin lesions with the naked eye. Unfortunately, in many dermatopathology laboratories, dermatopathologists have no access to patients and therefore, they concentrate mostly on reading the slides prepared from a biopsy under the microscope.
What precisely though, is gross inspection? Of course, studying a lesion with the naked eye or an excised tissue of a tumor is termed "gross inspection," but how about the slides cut and stained with H & E? They also can be studied without the microscope, at
scanning magnification. Most colleagues think that to study a section of tissue, a microscope is indispensable, but a lot can be seen in a slide, even without magnification.
In the following tray of specimens, a number of sections taken from very common skin lesions can be diagnosed easily without the aid of a microscope (
How many diagnoses can you make in this tray of specimens without utilizing a microscope?
This site is made possible in part by:
Copyright © Derm101.com. All Rights Reserved.