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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 734906, 5 pages
Research Article

Skin Biopsy in the Context of Dermatological Diagnosis: A Retrospective Cohort Study

1Department of Dermatology, Veterans Administration Hospital, 10-12 Monis Petraki Street, 11521 Athens, Greece
2Department of Dermatology, Attikon Hospital, 1 Rimini Street, Haidari, 12462 Athens, Greece
3Department of Dermatology, Andreas Sygros Hospital, 5 I. Dragoumi Street, 16121 Athens, Greece

Received 23 July 2013; Accepted 4 November 2013; Published 30 January 2014

Academic Editor: Lajos Kemeny

Copyright © 2014 Chrysovalantis Korfitis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Skin biopsy is an established method for allying the dermatologist in overcoming the diagnostic dilemmas which occur during consultations. However neither do all skin biopsies produce a conclusive diagnosis nor the dermatologists routinely perform this procedure to every patient they consult. The aim of this study was to investigate the favourable clinical diagnoses set by dermatologists when performing skin biopsy, the diagnoses reached by the dermatopathologists after microscopic examination, and the relationship between them and finally to comment on the instances that skin biopsy fails to fulfill the diagnostic task. Methods. Six thousand eight hundred and sixteen biopsy specimens were reviewed and descriptive statistics were performed. Results. The mean age of the patients was years, the most common site of biopsy was the head and neck (38.3%), the most frequently proposed clinical diagnoses included malignancies (19.28%), and the most prevalent pathological diagnosis was epitheliomas (21.9%). After microscopic examination, a specific histological diagnosis was proposed in 83.29% of the cases and a consensus between clinical and histological diagnoses was observed in 68% of them. Conclusions. Although there are cases that skin biopsy exhibits diagnostic inefficiency, it remains a valuable aid for the dermatology clinical practice.