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Surgically planned versus histologically measured lateral tumor margins for resection of cutaneous and subcutaneous mast cell tumors in dogs: 46 cases (2010–2013)

Risselada, Marijie, Mathews, Kyle G., Griffith, Emily
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2015 v.247 no.2 pp. 184-189
biopsy, body condition, dogs, excision, histopathology, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, patients, resection, shrinkage
Objective—To compare preplanned lateral surgical margins and measured lateral histologic margins for cutaneous and subcutaneous mast cell tumor (MCT) resections in dogs. Design—Retrospective case series. Sample—51 biopsy specimens from dogs (n = 46) with MCTs. Procedures—All canine patients that underwent curative-intent surgical resection of cutaneous or subcutaneous MCTs from January 1, 2010, through June 30, 2013, with complete medical records including signalment, body condition score (BCS), surgery report (with measured surgical margins), and histopathology report were included. The surgically measured tumor margins in each quadrant were grouped and compared with the corresponding histologic margins. Specimens from dogs with truncal MCTs and a BCS of 7 to 9 on a scale from 1 to 9 (ie, high) were compared with those of dogs with a BCS of 4 to 6 to evaluate effect of BCS on tissue margins Results—51 specimens were included. Surgically mapped lateral margins differed significantly from histologically reported margins in all 4 quadrants. The mean histologic margins were 35% to 42% smaller than the surgical margins for the combined 51 specimens. A higher BCS did not significantly influence the magnitude of the decrease in lateral margins measured histologically. No significant difference was found for the magnitude of the differences between any of the 4 lateral margins. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study suggested that surgical and histologic margins may differ significantly for canine cutaneous and subcutaneous MCTs. This may be a result of tissue shrinkage following excision and fixation, extension of the MCT beyond palpable margins, or both. Histologic measurements may significantly underestimate the tumor-free margins in dogs with cutaneous and subcutaneous MCTs.