Re: biopsy specimens & sections

From:Elizabeth Chlipala

on 11/6/02 11:53 AM, Morrison, Michelle at wrote:

> Good morning Histonetters;  I am curious how many labs out there may have a
> limit to the number of sections placed on a slide, mainly for small biopsy
> specimens.  Currently we do 3 slides (3 levels, one level per slide) per bx
> block.  This is a small rural hospital, we cut anywhere from 10 to 70 blocks
> a day; some days are rushed, others not (one tech on morning duty).  this is
> not a question of the histotech being overworked, rather a question of --"do
> we have an overworked pathologist?"  Generally, for prostate biopsies, we
> usually give 3-5 sections/slide.  Our temporary locum tenens path. has asked
> for 1 section/slide for biopsy cases.  Any feedback here is appreciated.
> Personally, i feel a disservice is being done here to the patient, if I give
> in to this.  Thank you.
> Michelle

I checked with the pathologist that I used to work for and this is what he

"It depends on what you are looking at.  If you are looking at very small
foci of atypia (like single malignant glands in a prostate), then more is
better.  We typically have 2 sections per slide and do 15 levels, staining
1,5,10,15 and saving the other levels if additional H&E are needed or if we
want to do immunos.

For GI bx's, there may be less of an issue, as the "individual" glands of
malignancy are usually less of an issue, but typically they are smaller, and
so just by practice, you usually get more sections on a slide."

I hope this helps.

Liz Chlipala

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