OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of anatomic location, histologic processing, and sample size on shrinkage of excised canine skin samples. SAMPLE Skin samples from 15 canine cadavers. PROCEDURES Elliptical samples of the skin, underlying subcutaneous fat, and muscle fascia were collected from the head, hind limb, and lumbar region of each cadaver. Two samples (10 mm and 30 mm) were collected at each anatomic location of each cadaver (one from the left side and the other from the right side). Measurements of length, width, depth, and surface area were collected prior to excision (P1) and after fixation in neutral-buffered 10% formalin for 24 to 48 hours (P2). Length and width were also measured after histologic processing (P3). RESULTS Length and width decreased significantly at all anatomic locations and for both sample sizes at each processing stage. Hind limb samples had the greatest decrease in length, compared with results for samples obtained from other locations, across all processing stages for both sample sizes. The 30-mmsamples had a greater percentage change in length and width between P1 and P2 than did the 10-mm samples. Histologic processing (P2 to P3) had a greater effect on the percentage shrinkage of 10-mm samples. For all locations and both sample sizes, percentage change between P1 and P3 ranged from 24.0% to 37.7% for length and 18.0% to 22.8% for width. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Histologic processing, anatomic location, and sample size affected the degree of shrinkage of a canine skin sample from excision to histologic assessment.
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