Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Biopsy: skin

Contributor(s): Stephen White, Elisabetta Mancinelli, Ron Rees Davies

Introduction

  • Skin biopsy may be a valuable tool when investigating dermatologic disorders; it provides a definitive diagnosis in a variety of skin conditions, and their correct categorization.

Print off the Owner factsheetSamples - why they help my vet  Samples - how they help your vet    to give to your clients.

Uses

  • If a lesion has an unusual aspect.
  • If a dermatological condition does not improve after medical treatment.
  • To diagnose neoplasia   Cutaneous neoplasia  .
  • To distinguish between a neoplastic and inflammatory lesion.
  • To obtain a diagnosis before undergoing surgical excision.
  • When cytology is not diagnostic or inconclusive.
  • To confirm a diagnostic suspicion.
  • In cases of pruritus when parasitic, allergic or infectious causes have been ruled out.
  • When keratinization defects are present.
  • Infection withTreponema  Treponema cuniculi  , myxoma virus   Myxoma virus  , papilloma   Papilloma virus   and fibroma virus   Shope fibroma virus  .
  • Metastatic skin lesions, eg mammary adenocarcinoma   Mammary gland: carcinoma  .
  • To diagnose immune-mediated and some endocrine diseases.

Advantages

  • If cytology is inconclusive, a skin biopsy allows harvesting of enough tissue to allow evaluation of cell interface and architecture.
  • Can be obtained in various ways.

Disadvantages

  • Most animals require sedation, local and/or general anesthesia.
  • Higher morbidity/mortality than less invasive procedures.
  • Must be obtained early in course of disease before chronic inflammatory changes occur.
  • Exercise caution if:
    • Bleeding disorders or concurrent medication affecting bleeding.
    • Immunosuppressed animals: rare (may be wound healing problem).
    • Local anesthesia   Anesthesia: overview  : injecting lidocaine   Lidocaine  with epinephrine   Epinephrine  near extremities and into patients with circulatory disorders.

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 for healing of biopsy site.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Bhowmik A, Mallick Sinha M G & Barman D C (2015) Role of fine needle aspiration cytology in the diagnosis of skin and superficial soft tissue lesions: A study of 510 cases. Turk Patoloji Derg 31 (3), 200-205 PubMed.
  • Falk K J, Eshar D, Higbie C T et al (2015) Diagnostic challenge. Pedunculated growths on rabbit ears. J Exotic Pet Med 24 (3), 372-375 VetMedResource.
  • Quinton J F, Prélaud P, Poujade A et al (2014) A case of actinic keratosis in a rabbit. J Exotic Pet Med 23 (3), 283-286 ScienceDirect.
  • Selleri P, Di Girolamo N, Vögtlin A et al (2014) Cutaneous lesions in pet rabbits following subcutaneous administration of a novel bivalent vaccine against myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease. Vet Derm 25 (6), 563-566 PubMed.
  • Kanfer S & Reavill D R (2013) Cutaneous neoplasia in ferrets, rabbits and guinea pigs. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 16 (3), 579-598 PubMed.
  • Palmeiro B S & Roberts H (2013) Clinical approach to dermatologic disease in exotic animals. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 16 (3), 523-577 PubMed.
  • Campbell T W (2007) Basics of cytology and fluid cytology. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 10 (1), 1-24 PubMed.
  • von Bomhard W, Goldschmidt M H, Shofer F S et al (2007) Cutaneous neoplasms in pet rabbits: A retrospective study. Vet Pathol 44 (5), 579-588 PubMed.
  • Harvey C (1995) Rabbit and rodent skin diseases. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med (4), 195-204 ScienceDirect.

Other sources of information

  • Meredith A (2014) Dermatoses. In:BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester, UK. pp 255-263.
  • Varga M (2014) Neoplasia. In:BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester, UK. pp 264-273.
  • Varga M (2014) Skin diseases. In:Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth Heineman, Elsevier Ltd. pp 271-302.


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