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Artefacts in oral incisional biopsies in general dental practice: a pathology audit


Juan Seoane, Cantón Grande 5, Apto. 1°E, E-15003 A Coruña, Spain. Tel: +34981223033, E-mail:


Objectives:  To investigate the artefacts in oral biopsies taken by general dental practitioners (GDP) and oral and maxillofacial surgeons (O&MF) and to assess the concordance of clinical and pathological diagnoses.

Design:  Cross-sectional investigation.

Setting:  Primary care and hospital practice.

Material and methods:  A total of 354 randomly selected oral biopsy samples studied by the same pathologist.

Main outcome measures:  Clinical and pathological diagnoses – prevalence and location of surgical handling artefacts: crush, splits, haemorrhage and fragmentation.

Results:  Artefacts identified in GDPs biopsies: crush 27.1%; haemorrhage 19.8%; splits 11.3%; and fragmentation 6.2%. O&MSs biopsies showed: crush 10.2%; splits 13%; fragmentation 2.3%; and haemorrhage 8.5%. No differences in split or fragmentation were identified between GDPs and O&MSs. Crush (χ2 = 16.76; P = 0.000) and haemorrhage (χ2 = 9.31; P = 0.003) were more frequently identified in GDPs biopsies. Concordance between clinical and pathological diagnoses was excellent ( > 0.75) for both groups in all disorders considered.

Conclusions:  The elicited clinical knowledge, the quality of the samples sent to the pathologists seem to suggest the advisability for the GDPs to perform diagnostic biopsies.

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