Nonlesions, Misdiagnoses, Missed Diagnoses, and Other Interpretive Challenges in Fish Histopathology Studies: A Guide for Investigators, Authors, Reviewers, and Readers

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Abstract

Differentiating salient histopathologic changes from normal anatomic features or tissue artifacts can be decidedly challenging, especially for the novice fish pathologist. As a consequence, findings of questionable accuracy may be reported inadvertently, and the potential negative impacts of publishing inaccurate histopathologic interpretations are not always fully appreciated. The objectives of this article are to illustrate a number of specific morphologic findings in commonly examined fish tissues (e.g., gills, liver, kidney, and gonads) that are frequently either misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed, and to address related issues involving the interpretation of histopathologic data. To enhance the utility of this article as a guide, photomicrographs of normal and abnormal specimens are presented. General recommendations for generating and publishing results from histopathology studies are additionally provided. It is hoped that the furnished information will be a useful resource for manuscript generation, by helping authors, reviewers, and readers to critically assess fish histopathologic data.

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