Kolkata: A 35 year old female had an ulcer on the leg which had become chronic. She was again being treated with antibiotics but her ulcer did not respond and slowly increased in size, she was in considerable pain and could not perform her normal activities as her condition slowly hampered her leg movement. A skin biopsy was performed from the affected site. Again it was examined under the microscope by a dermatopathology expert and she was diagnosed as a case of ‘necrotising vasculitis’. This is a condition where the blood vessels of the body become inflamed. It is a kind of allergic reaction involving blood vessels. This patient was treated with steroids and other immunosupressives. After a few weeks, the patient’s ulcer healed and she could perform her daily activities. If this condition is not diagnosed and proper treatment is not given on time the symptoms can worsen and sometimes even amputation of the affected limb has to be carried out and there are some instances of this on record, said a member of CAPP.
It is one of the in-numerous cases of diagnosis, where a dermatopathologist takes a leading and key role to the recovery of the patient. The subspecialty of dermatopathology is a combination of both dermatology (the clinical diagnosis) and pathology (identification of diseases microscopically) applied to diseases of the skin, hair and nails.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and can hold a mirror to a plethora of diseases affecting our bodies. Dermatopathology cases may include skin disorders of various etiology like inflammatory, immunologic, infectious and neoplastic. Since a misdiagnosis of certain skin disorders can be fatal, it is imperative that the clinician receives accurate and timely diagnosis.
A very good clinico-pathological correlation forms the backbone of a good dermatopathologic diagnosis as the ultimate goal is to provide the best possible care for the patient. A dermatopathologist is often referred to as the Sherlock Holmes of Skin because, in order to make a definitive diagnosis, he or she must make microscopic observations regarding the skin tissue, as well as assess information received from the clinician.
Skin biopsy is one of the normal & regular test done by a Dermatopathologist. The skin biopsy requisition form serves as the primary and usually critical mode of communication between clinician and pathologist, but is susceptible to many of the problems associated with handoffs. Sometimes missing clinical information in the requisition form creates daily practice challenges for pathologists.
This time CAPP (Calcutta Association of Practicing Pathologists) and DSI ( Dermatopathology Society of India) have collaborated to hold a dermatopathology conference on March14-15 which will propagate and disseminate knowledge in the field of dermatopathology and will cover important topics on various aspects in of the stream informed members CAPP
in Kolkata on Thursday.