Article Text

Download PDFPDF
What is the point of tips?
  1. L Adamczyk1,
  2. A Simpkin2,
  3. J Oxley1
  1. 1Department of Cellular Pathology, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK
  2. 2School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jon Oxley, Department of Cellular Pathology, Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK; jon.oxley{at}


Aims To look at the incidence of tip margin involvement in skin excisions for basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and to examine if any factors might be used to predict margin involvement.

Methods and results All reports of BCCs by a single dermatopathologist were reviewed and 793 excisions were included from 642 patients. Whether there was BCC in the tip and whether this tip was involved were recorded together with macroscopic and microscopic factors based on the Royal College of Pathologists’ (RCPath) dataset. Statistical analysis was carried out to determine associations between these factors and tip involvement. In 43 (5%) specimens the tip margin was involved and in 35 (4%) cases the peripheral lateral margin was involved. Risk factors for tip margin involvement were a lesion that was non-discernible macroscopically and most importantly, involvement of a peripheral lateral margin.

Conclusions The incidence of tip margin involvement is small and it appears unnecessary to embed the tips unless the lesion is non-discernible macroscopically or if the peripheral lateral margin is involved.

  • SKIN

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.