Content » Vol 95, Issue 2

Clinical Report

Correlation Between Histological Findings on Punch Biopsy Specimens and Subsequent Excision Specimens in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Annet Westers-Attema, Valerie M.H.J. Joosten, Marieke H. Roozeboom, Patty J. Nelemans, Bjorn G.P.M. Lohman, Anita A. Botterweck, Peter M. Steijlen, Arienne M.W. van Marion, Nicole W.J. Kelleners-Smeets
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1826


Diagnosis and subsequent treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma are frequently based on punch biopsies. Regarding the current TNM classification and stage grouping for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, it is important to identify the high-risk features (infiltration depth >4 mm, perineural and/or lymphovascular invasion and poor differentiation). This study investigates the agreement of histological high-risk features and TNM grouping stage on 3 mm punch biopsies and subsequent surgical excision in 105 patients diagnosed with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. On punch biopsy, infiltration depth >4 mm is not identified in 83.3% (30/36), perineural invasion in 90.9% (10/11) and poor differentiation in 85.7% (6/7) of cases. The TNM stage was underestimated on punch biopsy in 15.4% (16/104). This study shows that on a 3 mm punch biopsy, high-risk features in cSCC can remain undetected and that the actual TNM stage is not identified in 1 out of 6 tumours.


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