Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Biopsy: overview

Synonym(s): Tissue sampling

Contributor(s): Prof Derek Knottenbelt, Prof Susan Rhind

Introduction

  • Standard technique to support diagnosis of inflammatory, proliferative, reactive and neoplastic conditions.
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Uses

  • Confirmation of diagnosis or rule-outs.
  • Biopsies are taken to:
    • Establish a specific diagnosis.
    • Eliminate other clinical diagnoses.
    • Follow the course of the disease.
    • Confirm the completeness of excision of a tumor.
  • Biopsy and cytology specimens are used for several clinical purposes including:
    • Histological diagnosis.
    • Needle aspirate cytology   Cytology: fine needle aspirate  .
    • Special tests:
      • Immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence.
      • Bacterial/fungal swabs.
  • Types of biopsy include:

Advantages

  • Can be the most effective way to establish a definitive diagnosis.
  • Facilitates assessment of prognosis and treatment.
  • Excisional biopsy may result in cure if the biopsy procedure removes the lesion.

Disadvantages

  • Invasive in some cases.
  • Correct tissue is not always accessible without complex procedures.
  • Minor interference may exacerbate some neoplastic and reactive conditions.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Good in all cases if planned properly.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Rodrigues N L F, Dore M & Doucet M Y (2009) Validation of the transendoscopic glandular and nonglandular gastric biopsy technique in horses. Equine Vet J 41 (7), 631-635 PubMed.
  • McGavin M D & Fadok V A (1984) Factors limiting the usefulness of histopathological examination of skin biopsies in the diagnosis of large animal dermatoses. Vet Clin North Am Large Anim Pract 6, 203-213 PubMed.


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