RE: [Histonet] Re: renal needle biopsy size

From:"Keeping, Janet"

I teach histology and to provide a simulation of a renal biopsy I use a
fixed kidney. I "stab" the kidney through the medulla and into the
cortex with a glass Pasteur pipette. I use a piece of wire to push the
'core" back through the opening. It's kind of crude I guess but it
serves its purpose.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: March 3, 2007 5:38 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Re: renal needle biopsy size

Lailasch on AOL asks: >>I'm a histotech student who needs to simulate a 
proper sized renal needle biopsy. Any suggestions?<<

Haven't seen one done since I was a medical student (you don't want to
how long ago that was!), but a quick Google of the topic suggests that a
gauge cutting needle (of the Tru-Cut type) is commonly used, with other
sizes in fairly common use also. These are usually one-time use needles,
and I 
would think you could get a discarded one fairly easily, though I've

The areas of normal kidney in a nephrectomy specimen for cancer (alas,
are all too common) would be ideal, though autopsy material would also
You should suspend the specimen in saline in a Petri dish and look at it
a dissecting microscope, learning to identify the little red dots that
are the 
glomeruli. This is something you'll be asked to do on a percutaneous
biopsy specimen, before cutting it into separate pieces for electron
(into glutaraldehyde), immunofluorescence (into Michel's or Zeus
medium), and light microscopy (into neutral buffered formalin). If I
were the 
on-call pathologist that day, I'd expect you to call me to look at the
though it would be fine with me if you felt capable of handling it

Histologists and pathologists really ought to make "pseudo-biopsy"
like this rather frequently - any time you're training somebody, or
bringing a 
new technique online.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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