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December 1996

The Utility of Submitting Fibroepithelial Polyps for Histological Examination

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Eads, Chuang, Hood, and Farmer) and Pathology (Drs Hood and Farmer), Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis, and the Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Ky (Dr Fabré).

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(12):1459-1462. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890360049009

Background:  The fibroepithelial polyp (FEP) is a common cutaneous lesion that is often removed for medical or cosmetic reasons. We examined the utility of submitting clinically diagnosed FEPs for routine microscopic examination.

Design:  We reviewed 11 500 consecutive cutaneous pathology reports. Materials submitted with the clinical diagnosis of FEP or a synonym were reviewed and the histopathologic slides were examined. A comparison group of specimens submitted with the clinical diagnosis of melanocytic nevus was reviewed.

Setting:  The biopsy reports were generated at a regional non-hospital-based dermatopathology laboratory providing service to physicians (dermatologists and nondermatologists) practicing ambulatory medicine predominantly within a 4-state region (Ind, Ky, Tenn, and WVa).

Results:  Of 1335 clinical specimens submitted as FEPs, there were 5 malignant tumors. In the comparison group of 697 clinically diagnosed melanocytic nevi, there were 6 malignant tumors. In comparison with clinically diagnosed melanocytic nevi, the likelihood that a lesion clinically diagnosed as FEP would be a malignant tumor on histological examination is very low (relative risk, 0.4). None of the lesions clinically diagnosed as FEPs by dermatologists proved to be malignant.

Conclusions:  Our data suggest there is an extremely low prevalence of malignancy in lesions clinically diagnosed as FEPs. We conclude that cutaneous lesions diagnosed as typical FEPs by dermatologists need not be submitted for microscopic examination.Arch Dermatol. 1996;132:1459-1462

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