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Publication - Professor Edward Hall

    Comparison of 3 handling techniques for endoscopic gastric and duodenal biopsies

    a prospective study in dogs and cats


    Ruiz, G, Reyes-Gomez, E, Hall, EJ & Freiche, V, 2016, ‘Comparison of 3 handling techniques for endoscopic gastric and duodenal biopsies: a prospective study in dogs and cats’. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, vol 30., pp. 1014-1021



    Limited evidence exists in the literature regarding whether a specific mount is preferable to use for processing endoscopically obtained gastrointestinal biopsy specimens.


    To compare 3 methods of handling endoscopically obtained gastrointestinal biopsy specimens from collection to laboratory processing and to determine if any technique produced superior results.


    Twenty-three dogs and cats presented for gastrointestinal signs.


    Prospective study of dogs and cats presented with gastrointestinal signs to a veterinary teaching referral hospital which underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Biopsy specimens were taken from the stomach and duodenum and submitted to the laboratory using 3 techniques: mounted on a cucumber slice, mounted on a moisturized synthetic foam sponge, and floating free in formalin. The techniques were compared with regard to the specimens' width, orientation, presence of artifacts, and pathologist's confidence in diagnosis.


    Twenty-three patients were included, with a total of 528 biopsies collected. Specimens on cucumber slice and on sponge were significantly wider (P < .001 and P = .001, respectively) compared to those floating free in formalin (mean width of 3.81 versus 3.31 and 2.52 mm, respectively). However, specimens on synthetic sponge had significantly fewer artifacts compared to those on cucumber slice (P = .05) and those floating free in formalin (P = .02). Confidence in the diagnosis also was superior with the sponge technique over floating free specimens (P = .002).

    Conclusions and Clinical Importance

    The use of mounted gastrointestinal biopsy specimens was superior over the use of specimens floating free in formalin. This technique improved the quality of the specimens and the pathologist's confidence in their histopathologic interpretation.

    Full details in the University publications repository