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Article
September 1938

VALUE AND LIMITATIONS OF BIOPSY IN DERMATOLOGY

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1938;38(3):329-336. doi:10.1001/archderm.1938.01480150003001
Abstract

Histologic study of the skin is of value not only in the diagnosis but in the prognosis and treatment of many diseases.1 Like any other single diagnostic procedure,it is far from infallible. One should be able to make a correct diagnosis from histologic examination of a cutaneous neoplasm in at least 90 per cent of cases, but the histologic picture of many inflammatory dermatoses is suggestive without being pathognomonic. To identify and to distinguish between many cutaneous diseases, observation of minute histologic changes is important; this often necessitates the study of many sections and the use of differential stains. The value of histologic study frequently has been minimized by the habit of assigning selection of the site for removal of material for biopsy to a novice rather than to a trained dermatologist. The pathologist who is confronted at necropsy with the problem of determining whether or not a lesion

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