Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Biopsy: overview

Synonym(s): Tissue sampling

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

Introduction

  • Standard technique to support diagnosis of inflammatory, proliferative, reactive and neoplastic conditions within tissue.
  • Biopsy refers to the collection of a sample of intact tissue for examination of tissue microarchitecture and structural change. This is distinct from cytopathology which is based on assessment of individual cells or groups of cells derived from a tissue lesion.
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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 by evaluation of tumor margins. Additionally, biopsy evalutes the potential for metastatic spread of a neoplasm by evaluating vascular or lymphatic invasion.
  • Biopsy specimens are used for several clinical purposes including:

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 and requires local or general anesthesia General anesthesia: overview.
  • Correct tissue is not always accessible without complex procedures.
  • Minor interference has been suggested to possibly exacerbate some neoplastic and reactive conditions although the evidence for this actually occurring is limited.
  • Biopsy is a relatively slow diagnostic procedure - tissue samples require processing, so turn-around time is generally 24 hours.

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


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