[Histonet] Re: sentinel biopsies

From:"Robert Richmond"

Wanda G. Smith at Trident Medical Center (where?) notes:

>>I agree, that by the time it is time to dispose of the specimen
(after 2 weeks per CAP), they do not need any special handling. We
hold the sentinel node and breast for 24 hours for fixation, however,
we are finding on some cases we have to hold the sentinel node an
extra day due to the level of radioactivity when we check it with the
Geiger counter. Is anyone else having this problem?<<

Once again - the authorities on this subject agree - this is not my
personal opinion alone - that the level of radioactivity in these
specimens does not require any special handling. You should cut the
specimen, fix it overnight (for histological reasons), and process it

24 hours equals four half-lives of technetium 99m, and I would expect
you could still detect radioactivity after that time.

If your radiation safety people have any further misgivings, I think
this topic has been discussed on Histonet before, and that literature
citations were given. If this information isn't available in our
archives, I can probably look it up.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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