Analysis of artifacts in oral and maxillofacial histopathologic sections and related reasons

Neda Kargahi, Forooz Keshani, Mohsen Khosravian


Background: Artifacts, artificial structures at microscopic section, may lead to incorrect diagnosis
and wrong treatment of a pathological entity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency
of various artifacts found in oral and maxillofacial histopathologic sections.
Materials and Methods: In this cross‑sectional study, the specimens included the histopathologic
sections along with their diagnosis that were collected from the archive of Isfahan Oral and
Maxillofacial Pathology Department using systematic sampling method over a 10‑year period. These
histopathologic sections were studied by two oral pathologists and an expert laboratory technician
for the presence or absence of various artifacts, and the specimens from inside and outside the
university were compared. The data were analyzed by SPSS software using independent t‑test at
significance level  = 0.05.
Results: From among 237 specimens studied, 235 specimens (99.15%) had artifacts and two
specimens had no artifacts. From among 21 different types of artifacts, folding (n = 158) and
throughout cleft (n = 149) artifacts had the highest frequency. There was no significant difference
between the specimens of inside and outside the university (P = 0.125).
Conclusion: The results of this study showed a high number of artifacts in the histopathologic
sections, the most frequent artifact being reported for the folding artifact. It seems adequate control
of specimens and preventing technical errors can reduce the number of artifacts.
Key Words: Artifact, frequency, histopathological

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