Biopsy

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Definition
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Invasive intervention in a tissue, usually carried out for diagnostic reasons. A skin biopsy is performed under local anesthesia under sterile conditions for a given indication. For smaller skin samples, the biopsy is generally carried out using round punches (one-time punches, e.g. Stiefel; diameter 2-6 mm), but care must be taken that the tissue is not crushed by the surgical procedure, as this would make histological evaluation more difficult. This is especially true for biopsies in inflammatory dermatoses; the intactness of the tissue is also of great importance in the evaluation of cellular infiltrates ( lymphomas, lupus erythematosus, urticaria pigmentosa). As with any other surgical procedure, the patient must be informed about the benefits and possible complications before the procedure. Skin biopsies generally cut through the entire skin and leave scars! The correct selection of the biopsy site is decisive for histological interpretation; only clinically typical and fresh lesions are biopsied. In case of inflammatory dermatoses, pre-treatment with glucocorticoids should be excluded in any case; if such pre-treatment existed, it must be discontinued over several days (> 7 days).

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020