Message Number: YG1683 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-24 21:57:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Dr Williams,slides vs camera

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., JTRADFORD@w... wrote:
> Dr Williams recently did a biopsy on an "enlargement" on my Bruisers
> cheek.It turned out to be "nothing" simply,"matter".
> My question: Is this rare??

Well, it wasn't really "nothing" - it was necrotic tissue. The
tissue was dead before it was put into the fixative, so it is not
useful to determine a diagnosis.

A number of processes can result in necrosis of tissue. Loss of
blood supply is the most common cause. Some tumors can grow so
quickly that they outstrip the blood supply, or a vessel inside the
tumor ruptures, and the parts of the tumor that it supplied find
themselves without a blood supply.

In inflammatory conditions, blood flow may be interrupted by bacteria
or exudative processes which result in thrombosis (clotting) within
vessels, and death of the supplied tissue.

While all examined tissue is technically dead when the pathologist
sees it, my ability to diagnose it is impacted by the length of time
between when tissue death occurs and when it hits the formalin.
Formalin stops all cellular breakdown processes - this small sample
had been dead for a while before it was removed.

Is this rare - no. A lot of large neoplasms that I see have
significant areas of necrosis. Sometimes with biopsies, it is the
luck of the draw - you hit a good spot with viable cells, or a bad
spot with dead ones. This time, it was the bad spot.

> My Vet in Tacoma,Dr ***** has some pretty awesome slides of the
> actual operation,I am told.Do you want these?

Sure, that'd be great, if he wouldn't mind.

> Can you post slides the same as you can post uploaded pics from a
> digital camera?? Please explain this to me.

All you need to do is scan the slide. The picture of the gastric
ulcers that is currently on the front page was originally a 2x2"
slide which I scanned using a digital slide scanner. They have
excellent fidelity, and are capable of higher resolution than most
digital cameras.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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