Dermatopathology in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic 5-year analysis of all histopathological diagnoses from the Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) in Moshi, Tanzania.

Beltraminelli, Helmut; Kiprono, S; Zuriel, D; Swai, B; Giabbani, E; Grossmann, H; Masenga, J E (2014). Dermatopathology in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic 5-year analysis of all histopathological diagnoses from the Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) in Moshi, Tanzania. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 29(7), pp. 1370-1375. Blackwell 10.1111/jdv.12877

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BACKGROUND Proper diagnosis of skin diseases relies on dermatopathology, the most important diagnostic technique in dermatology. Unfortunately, there are few dermatopathology institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, where little is known about the spectrum of histopathological features observed. OBJECTIVES To investigate the spectrum of dermatopathological diagnoses made in a sub-Saharan African reference centre of a large, mainly rural area. PATIENTS/METHODS To retrospectively evaluate all dermatopathological diagnoses made over a period of 5 years at the Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) in Moshi, Tanzania. RESULTS There were a total of 1554 skin biopsy specimens. In 45% of cases, there were inflammatory diseases, most frequently lichenoid conditions. Cutaneous neoplasms represented 30.4% of all diagnoses, with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and, less frequently, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) being the two most common neoplastic conditions. The latter also reflected the intensive management of persons with albinism in the RDTC. The distribution of histological diagnoses seemed to correlate with the overall clinical spectrum of cutaneous diseases managed in the RDTC. CONCLUSIONS In this African study inflammatory conditions are the main burden of skin diseases leading to a diagnostic biopsy. Our findings provide further evidence that KS, primarily related to the high prevalence of HIV infection is an epidemiological problem. Both SCC and basal cell carcinoma represent another relatively common malignant cutaneous neoplasms, reflecting the presence of specific populations at risk. The challenging spectrum of histological diagnoses observed in this specific African setting with basic working conditions shows that development of laboratory services of good standards and specific training in dermatopathology are urgently needed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology

UniBE Contributor:

Beltraminelli, Helmut

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0926-9959

Publisher:

Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Schenk

Date Deposited:

15 Apr 2015 11:36

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 01:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jdv.12877

PubMed ID:

25438656

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.63859

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/63859

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