The use of special stains at two dermatopathology laboratories in East Africa.

Kiprono, S; Muchunu, J; Beltraminelli, Helmut (2015). The use of special stains at two dermatopathology laboratories in East Africa. Journal of cutaneous pathology, 43(3), pp. 242-245. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/cup.12641

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BACKGROUND Histopathology is often essential to establish an accurate diagnosis. Pathology laboratories are scarce in most Sub-Saharan Africa where dermatopathology is a developing field. In resource-poor countries, most specimens are analyzed only after hematoxylin and eosin staining. The availability of special stains is very limited and restricted to only few centers. The aim of this study is to analyze the extent of dermatopathological cases which can be adequately diagnosed after hematoxylin and eosin alone. Secondly, to investigate which cases required further special stains. METHODS All skin specimens submitted to two University Hospitals (Tanzania and Kenya) were included in this study. All specimens were first analyzed with hematoxylin and eosin and a diagnosis established when possible. All cases in which an accurate diagnosis after hematoxylin and eosin only was not possible, were registered and evaluated after further special stains. RESULTS A total of 386 specimens were examined. A proper histopathologic diagnosis with hematoxylin and eosin alone was possible in 344 (89.1%) samples. In 45 (11.6%) cases, mostly skin infections, further special stains were necessary. CONCLUSION A proper histopathologic diagnosis was possible after hematoxylin and eosin alone in almost 90% of the specimens submitted to the two laboratories in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Beltraminelli, Helmut


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Sandra Nyffenegger

Date Deposited:

09 Mar 2016 14:10

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2017 23:44

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Sub-Saharan Africa; dermatopathology; developing countries; laboratories; special stains




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