Standard operating procedures for laboratory processing and reporting of margins of cutaneous pigmented lesions do not exist. We conducted a survey of 94 dermatopathologists to evaluate these practices.
We sought to: (1) identify dominant practices among dermatopathologists; (2) determine the impact of the procedure, intent to excise, and histologic diagnosis on the process of margin evaluation; and (3) propose guidelines based on these findings.
The survey consisted of 44 questions focused on the impact of procedure (punch, shave, or ellipse), intent (excision or biopsy), and histologic diagnosis (common nevus, congenital nevus, atypical nevus, melanoma) on processing and margin reporting.
For ellipses, or specimens indicated as excisions, the majority practice (76%-98%) was to ink the specimens. Although more than 90% of observers report the margins on all melanomas and atypical nevi, fewer than 50% of respondents report margins on all nonatypical nevi.
The study consists of a survey sample of dermatopathologists and does not represent the practices of those who did not respond to the survey.
Based on the results of this survey we have arrived at the following recommendations: (1) ink all specimens that are ellipses or designated as excisions; (2) tips should be evaluated separately if the specimen is an ellipse; (3) obtain levels in cases with tumor in the tip but not at ink if the specimen is an ellipse or excision and the diagnosis is atypical nevus or melanoma; and (4) report margins on all atypical nevi and melanomas.
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American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.. Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.