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The diagnostic value and cost effectiveness of routine fungal stains in a dermatopathology service of a district general hospital
  1. J K Murphy,
  2. L O’Donohue
  1. Department of Pathology, West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthenshire NHS Trust, Carmarthen SA31 2A, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J K Murphy
 Department Of Pathology, West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthenshire NHS Trust, Carmarthen, SA31 2AF, UK; JmurphyCarmarthen.Wales.nhs.uk

Abstract

Aims: To evaluate the use and effectiveness of fungal stains in a dermatopathology service of a district general hospital.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of skin biopsies submitted over three years, where fungal stains were used; the results were correlated with clinical history and case notes.

Results: In total, 99 cases were studied for fungi with the periodic acid Schiff stain with diastase. Fungi were present in seven cases; fungi had been suggested in the differential diagnosis of three of these cases but were an unexpected finding in four cases.

Conclusion: Non-specific clinical details should prompt early fungal staining and non-specific microscopic findings or inappropriate well recognised skin reaction patterns should warrant the exclusion of fungal infection. The finding of at least one case of unexpected fungal infection is justified financially and for patient best management where clinical and microscopic findings are non-specific or inappropriate.

  • dermatophyte
  • fungal infection
  • skin
  • periodic acid Schiff
  • PAS, periodic acid Schiff
  • PASd, periodic acid Schiff with diastase

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