Conflicts of interest None declared.
Shave biopsy without local anaesthetic to diagnose basal cell carcinoma and other skin tumours prior to definitive treatment: analysis of 109 lesions
Article first published online: 15 SEP 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 British Association of Dermatologists
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 160, Issue 1, pages 180–182, January 2009
How to Cite
Smith, L.C., Cox, N.H. and Dawn, G. (2009), Shave biopsy without local anaesthetic to diagnose basal cell carcinoma and other skin tumours prior to definitive treatment: analysis of 109 lesions. British Journal of Dermatology, 160: 180–182. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08829.x
- Issue published online: 15 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 15 SEP 2008
- Accepted for publication 4 February 2008
- basal cell carcinoma;
- diagnostic method;
- local anaesthetic;
- shave biopsy
Background Diagnostic biopsy of basal cell carcinoma and other skin tumours may be necessary prior to definitive treatment.
Objectives To assess whether shave biopsy sampling of tumours without local anaesthetic can provide adequate tissue to make an accurate histological diagnosis, and to determine whether any discomfort is associated with the technique.
Methods One hundred and nine lesions from 99 patients were sampled by shave biopsy without local anaesthetic. Any discomfort associated with the procedure, and the adequacy of the histological specimen, were documented. The pathology diagnosis was also compared against the clinically suspected diagnosis.
Results In 108 of the 109 lesions sampled, sufficient tissue was obtained to make an accurate histological diagnosis. In only six of the 109 procedures was any discomfort reported and in all cases this was rated as minor. A high correlation was found between histological diagnosis and initial clinical suspicion.
Conclusions Shave biopsy without local anaesthetic is a simple, relatively pain-free method of obtaining tissue samples for histological diagnosis in appropriate tumours.