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The current state of play in the histopathologic assessment of alopecia: two for one or one for two?

Authors

  • Ameet Tailor,

    1. Department of Dermatopathology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
    2. St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
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  • Ruth G. Asher,

    1. Department of Dermatopathology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
    2. St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
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    • Present address: Department of Cellular Pathology/Oxford Biomedical Research Center, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

  • Paul J. Craig,

    1. Department of Dermatopathology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
    2. St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
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    • Present address: Department of Histopathology, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cheltenham, UK

  • Richard W. Groves,

    1. Department of Immunodermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
    2. St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
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  • David A. Fenton,

    1. St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
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  • Catherine M. Stefanato

    Corresponding author
    1. St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
    • Department of Dermatopathology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
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Catherine M. Stefanato, MD, FRCPath,

Department of Dermatopathology, St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK

Tel: +440 20 7188 6408

Fax: +440 20 7188 6372

e-mail: catherinestefanato@gmail.com

Abstract

The histopathologic assessment of a scalp biopsy for alopecia relies largely on the quality of the specimen provided for evaluation. There are a number of different protocols in the literature which have been proposed over the years, but no consensus has yet been reached as to the appropriate number of biopsies to be taken, or to which sectioning technique is the gold standard for achieving the best diagnostic yield. We herein review the pros and cons of the various protocols and share the experience with our St John's protocol.

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