Understanding Dermatology Testing

Understanding Dermatology Testing

Understanding Dermatology Testing

Diagnostic dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, offers laboratory results dermatologists can trust. In many cases, molecular diagnostics and ancillary tests can be used to help make precise diagnoses of skin issues and diseases. Diagnostic dermatopathology testing provides doctors with the results needed to confidently recommend treatment without delay. This provides peace of mind to patients and gives dermatologists the opportunity to build sustainable practices. Our experts offer the following diagnostic tests that help to inform the treatment provided in a dermatology clinic.

Skin excision and biopsy examination

These tests involve the evaluation of neoplastic and inflammatory skin disorders, including evaluating excision specimen margins. They are helpful in classifying infectious and inflammatory cutaneous skin disorders. They are also used for skin cancer diagnosis and detection and confirmation of margin status to ensure that tumors have been completely removed.

Trichogram (Hair pluck) evaluations

These tests involve the evaluation of forcible hair pluck specimens using polarizing and routine microscopy. They are used for hair shaft abnormality evaluations and diagnosis.

Alopecia biopsy evaluations

These tests involve the evaluation of alopecia scalp punch biopsies, including the use of the Headington technique. In addition, they are used to evaluate and classify the causes of alopecia.

Nail bed, nail matrix, scrapings, and nail plate evaluations

These tests involve evaluating nail specimens with PAS stains for fungus. They are used to identify Onychomycosis and other tumoral and inflammatory nail diseases.

Direct immunofluorescence

These tests involve using fluorophore-conjugated antibodies to C3, IgM, IgA, IgG, and fibrinogen to detect immune complex deposition in fresh tissue mucosal and skin biopsies submitted in Michel’s medium. These tests are performed on perilesional mucosa/skin for people with bullous diseases and lesional mucosa/skin for people with vasculitis and connective tissue diseases.

In-house melanoma FISH assay

This test provides a six-probe FISH assay to evaluate losses and/or gains in chromosomes 9, 11, and 6 that commonly occur in melanoma. In addition, it is used to detect chromosomal aberration differences between nevi and melanoma to improve accurate diagnostics in classifying ambiguous melanocytic tumors.

DNA mismatch repair (MMR) analyzation

This test is used with MMR protein immunohistochemical stains. It is performed on sebaceous tumors to identify patients suffering from Muir Torre/Lynch/HNPCC syndrome.

Various immunohistochemistry and special stains

These tests are histochemical special stains and immunohistochemical stains performed on formalin-fixed tissue. They are used for the classification and diagnosis of leukemias and lymphomas.

Hematopathology consults

These are used in complicated hematolymphoid malignancies that require interdepartmental collaboration and consultation between hematopathology and dermatopathology. They are helpful in reaching the most accurate classification and diagnosis of complex hematolymphoid disorders.

Services for second opinions

These tests are expert consultations performed on slides provided by outside labs. They are helpful in the accurate classification and diagnosis of unusual cases.

These are just a handful of the tests done through diagnostic dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA. If you need the assistance of laboratory testing services for your dermatology practice, contact us today for more information on the specific services we can provide for you.



440 William Pitt Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15238


Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed


(800) 786-3054 - Toll Free
(412) 968-9266 - Local
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