Dermatopathology

Most skin biopsies can be processed in a routine manner with buffered formalin fixation. If an infectious disease is suspected clinically, separate biopsies should be performed, or the specimen must be bisected, and submitted for appropriate microbiology cultures.

If a panniculitis is suspected, an incisional biopsy of skin through and including subcutaneous fat must be submitted. Punch biopsies of panniculitides are usually unsatisfactory and nondiagnostic.

Request Forms

Revised Dermatopathology Request Forms are available online in Adobe® Acrobat® format ( files). They can be completed onscreen and printed out, or they can be printed out blank and completed by hand.

Important Note: For patients not seen at The North Carolina Baptist Hospitals, Inc., the Pathology Laboratory providing the case material will be billed unless patient's billing information is clearly indicated on the Dermatopathology Request Form.

  • A separate, completed and signed Dermatopathology Request Form must be submitted with each patient's specimens. Specimens will be delayed or rejected if proper paperwork is not completed appropriately.
  • Each specimen container (not lid) must be identified with a label bearing at least the patient's full name, unit number and account number.

Forty-eight hours is the expected turnaround time for most histopathology reports. (Not including weekends.) Reports on routine specimens are usually available after 4:00 PM the second day following receipt of the specimen.

Materials: Information about the various sized containers and 10% neutral buffered formalin, and ordering information for prefilled formalin containers, is available from the Histology Department -2682.