Re: Tissue processing - small biopsies

From:Bill Sinai <>

Dear All,

I have been reading with interest the subject of small biopsies and the
marks caused by biopsy pads.
We first observed this in 1984 in renal biopsies which, were placed fresh on
the gauze then microwave fixed and processed.  Since then all material is
fixed before placing on gauze and the problem no longer exists. One of the
staff wrote an article about this for Histologic.
We average in a day 100+ small biopsies and have not seen this problem for
years.  Many years ago we tried the gelatin etc for small bipsies but found
it was so much quicker to handle the biopsies "au naturale" for embedding
purposes.  Good training of staff almost certainly ensures the maximum
number of biopsies have the correcr orientation.

Bill Sinai
Laboratory Manager
Tissue Pathology
P.O. Box 533
Wentworthville NSW 2145

Subject: Re: Tissue processing - small biopsies

Dear Terry, Yes there are a small percentage of biopsies which exhibit
the tiny triangular dents associated with being processed between biopsy
foam pads. Our 4 pathologist's have said that no it is not a problem.
The foam should be soaked in alcohol before poaring the specimen thru.
The foam pad should be designed to be used in tissue processing
cassettes, ie. not to thick. Most of our GE and gyne biopsies are fixed
before putting up. We are a small lab and do up to 30-40 biopsy
cassettes in a morning along with plenty of other tissue types, with up
to 300+ blocks for the day. David.

David Taylor
Laboratory Manager
Drs King & Mower
Adelaide, Australia

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, 2 August 2001 00:19
To: David Taylor Manager;
Subject: RE: Tissue processing - small biopsies

Let's get this straight David. You get no problems with foam artefact
you say.
Do the pathologists? (You have not denied getting it, just having
problems with it).

Terry L Marshall
Rotherham General Hospital, Yorkshire

I'm with Amos, agar/ gel is a pain. We use black foam biopsy pads and
train staff to embed properly. We have no problems with so called
crushing or foam artifact. David

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