Transverse sectioning for histological assessment of sebaceous glands in healthy dogs and canine sebaceous adenitis


Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary College, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts AL9 7TA,



To evaluate transverse sectioning for histological assessment of canine sebaceous glands in health and disease.


Skin specimens were obtained from the cadavers of six healthy beagle dogs and from an archive of tissue sections of 24 dogs with a histological diagnosis of sebaceous adenitis.


In healthy beagle dogs, both the mean numbers of compound hair follicles and sebaceous lobes observed in transverse sections were approximately threefold higher (P < 0 · 001) than those seen in vertical sections. A similar relationship was noted in examples of sebaceous adenitis. In cases of sebaceous adenitis, there was a complete absence of sebaceous glands in paired transverse and vertical sections in 14 cases, whereas in 3 dogs glands were observed in transverse sections where none were seen in vertical sections. The percentages of hair follicles with associated sebaceous glands in affected dogs did not vary between transverse (12 · 3%) and vertical (13 · 3%) sections, whereas 89% (vertical) and 96% (transverse) of follicles had associated glands in the healthy beagle dogs.


Transverse sectioning of canine skin specimens to allow visualization of the follicular isthmus or deep portion of the common infundibulum enhances the histological assessment of sebaceous glands in both health and disease.