Re: Loss of small biopsies ...

From:David Anderson <>

In Dallas, we used nylon biopsy bags for things such as currettings, and 
sponges for all other small specimens. The PAs liked the bags because they 
could also act as filters - just poured it in and wrapped it up. We did seem 
to get a lot of carry-over with the sponges - we used the blue ones and the 
xylene on the processors would turn blue - but embedding went much faster 
because we didn't have to stop and unwrap things. While embedding, however, 
the cassettes need to be kept hot enough to keep the paraffin completely 
melted. If the paraffin starts to solidify around the sponges, it can be 
difficult to distinguish tissue from solid bits of paraffin.

Here in Riyadh, we wrap our small biopsies in cut-up pieces of paper towel, 
something I had never done before, but they seem to process OK and are 
easier to unwrap than lens paper.

David Anderson
Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital
Saudi Arabia

>From: Dale Denise Hardy <>
>Subject: Loss of small biopsies ...
>Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:05:49 -0500
>We have recently experienced a dramatic increase (3 within 6 weeks) in the 
>loss of small biopsy specimens and are using biopsy sponges exclusively.  
>In previous institutions it seems we would have 1-2 occurrences per year at 
>most, however lens paper, biopsy bags, and sponges were all used to secure 
>specimens based on size and type.  I have decided to switch exclusively to 
>nylon biopsy bags until I can evaluate other alternatives.  Folding lens 
>paper (Biowraps, Histowraps, etc.) might not work well in our grossing 
>environment and "tea bags" are a little more difficult to open compared to 
>their nylon counterpart, although more expensive.  I would be interested in 
>any feedback in regard to this issue as well as comments on using the 
>"mesh" cassettes.  I understand that the "mesh" cassettes are more 
>expensive - I'm wondering about reagent flow and carry over in regard to 
>processing; also the plastic smaller-holed biopsy cassettes as well.

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