Shave biopsies/shave excisions (saucerizations, tangential excisions)

Pathology of challenging melanocytic neoplasms. Diagnosis and Management. Christopher R. Shea, Jon A. Reed, Victor G. Prieto (Editors). Springer (2015)

Shave biopsies represent a sampling of epidermis and superficial dermis taken in a plane parallel to the epidermal surface. Deeper shaves may include superficial reticular dermis, but subcutis is almost never sampled by this technique. Deeper shave biopsies (tangential excisions/saucerizations) intended to completely remove a lesion are marked with indelible ink along the entire margin sparing only the epidermal surface. Depending on the size, shave biopsies may be bisected along the long axis or serially sectioned. The tissue is then embedded on edge so that the inked peripheral and deep margin is entirely represented in the histological section. Larger shaves may be divided between cassettes so that the tip (third dimension) margins can be evaluated independent of sections from the middle of the lesion.

Pathology of Challenging Melanocytic Neoplasms_ Diagnosis and Management-Springer-Verlag New York (2015) 1.1

Fig. 1.1. Microscopic evaluation of peripheral margins. (a) Melanoma in situ involving the inked peripheral margin of a specimen (х20). (b) Atypical nevus excised with a margin of un-involved skin (х10)

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