Histologic comparison of skin biopsy specimens collected by use of carbon dioxide or 810-nm diode lasers from dogs

Lillian B. Rizzo DVM1,2, Jerry W. Ritchey DVM, PhD, DACVP3,4, Russell G. Higbee PhD, DVM5,6, Kenneth E. Bartels DVM, MS7, and Michael D. Lucroy DVM, MS, DACVIM8,9
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • | 2 Present address is Sonora Veterinary Specialists, 13442 N 50th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85254.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • | 4
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • | 6 Present address is Sciperio Incorporated, 5202-2 N Richmond Hill Rd, Stillwater, OK 74075.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • | 8 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • | 9 Present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Abstract

Objective—To compare histologic artifacts caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) or 810-nm diode surgical lasers used to obtain small biopsy specimens of skin from healthy dogs.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—4 dogs.

Procedure—21 skin biopsy specimens were collected from each dog. Three biopsy specimens were obtained with a CO2 or an 810-nm diode laser at 3 operating settings each, and 3 biopsy specimens were obtained with a 6-mm biopsy punch instrument (controls). After processing, biopsy specimens were examined for artifacts related to laser-tissue interactions. Microscopically visible char was measured from the lateral edge of each specimen obtained with a laser.

Results—There were no significant differences among mean char distances in biopsy specimens obtained with the CO2 laser at various settings. Mean char distance was significantly greater in all skin biopsy specimens obtained with the diode laser, compared with those obtained with the CO2 laser. Mean char distance was significantly greater in biopsy specimens obtained with the 810-nm diode laser at high power, compared with biopsy specimens obtained with the 810-nm diode laser at low power.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the CO2 laser caused less thermal injury at margins of skin biopsy specimens; therefore, if a surgical laser is used for removal of cutaneous masses or to obtain skin biopsy specimens, use of the CO2 laser is recommended. Veterinarians performing a biopsy by using a surgical laser should be aware that laser-induced artifacts may render small biopsy specimens useless for providing accurate histologic diagnosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1562–1566)

Abstract

Objective—To compare histologic artifacts caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) or 810-nm diode surgical lasers used to obtain small biopsy specimens of skin from healthy dogs.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—4 dogs.

Procedure—21 skin biopsy specimens were collected from each dog. Three biopsy specimens were obtained with a CO2 or an 810-nm diode laser at 3 operating settings each, and 3 biopsy specimens were obtained with a 6-mm biopsy punch instrument (controls). After processing, biopsy specimens were examined for artifacts related to laser-tissue interactions. Microscopically visible char was measured from the lateral edge of each specimen obtained with a laser.

Results—There were no significant differences among mean char distances in biopsy specimens obtained with the CO2 laser at various settings. Mean char distance was significantly greater in all skin biopsy specimens obtained with the diode laser, compared with those obtained with the CO2 laser. Mean char distance was significantly greater in biopsy specimens obtained with the 810-nm diode laser at high power, compared with biopsy specimens obtained with the 810-nm diode laser at low power.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the CO2 laser caused less thermal injury at margins of skin biopsy specimens; therefore, if a surgical laser is used for removal of cutaneous masses or to obtain skin biopsy specimens, use of the CO2 laser is recommended. Veterinarians performing a biopsy by using a surgical laser should be aware that laser-induced artifacts may render small biopsy specimens useless for providing accurate histologic diagnosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1562–1566)