Dermatopathology 102

Dermatopathology 102

In the previous Blog “Dermatopathology 101”, a clear outline of material was provided which ensured the skin’s histology presentation as an organ in the final microscope slide. We discussed basic skin histology, and important aspects of embedding and microtomy.

Dermatology 101

Dermatology 101

Dermatopathology is a subject heading in pathology all unto itself. The intrinsic nature of dermatopathology specimens received in a laboratory necessitates a clear understanding of the material due to importance of the skin’s histology presentation as an organ. The goal of the histologist in the preparation of dermatopathology slides is to ensure that the entire area of skin which may contain pathology is represented in the final microscope slide.

Bone Specimens

Bone is a dynamic, living tissue. New bone is made by osteoblasts located on the surface of newly formed bone. The most recent material is not mineralized and is referred to as the osteoid seam. This material is mineralized later to form mature bone. Osteoclasts are also located on the bone surface. These are large, multinucleated cells responsible for “eating up” mature bone to release calcium into the blood stream. If the balance between these two bone cell types is disturbed, disease may result. Osteoporosis is a disease where the osteoclast activity outpaces the osteoblast activity; weak, porotic bones prone to breakage, can result (Figure 2).

Hair Histology: Part 2

Hair Histology

Hair loss and baldness in patients is referred to as “alopecia”. The hair loss can be a result of normal biology, such as male pattern baldness in men, which is a hereditary condition.

Hair Histology: Part 1


There are instances when the histology laboratory will receive a hair specimen from a patient for diagnosis.  This is not to be confused with residual hair left on a skin specimen. 

Receipt of Special Cases in the Histology Laboratory

Decalcified bone slide

There are some unique specimens received in the histology laboratory that may cause problems for the histologist ifnot handled properly at the time of surgical grossing. The following specimen types are described and specific procedures are recommended for their successful handling in the Procedures section of the laboratory manual “Dermatopathology Laboratory Techniques” by Clifford M. Chapman and Dr. Izak Dimenstein (revised 2014).