Specimen Identification
Specimen for histological examination must be clearly labeled with the patient's name and date of birth or MRN and must be submitted with a completed histology requisition.

All specimens must be submitted in a properly labeled container that, as a minimum, includes the patient's name and date of birth or MRN and type/source of specimen.

All slides and cassettes submitted must be properly labeled with the accession number and patient's name. Use a #2 lead pencil or solvent-resistant pen (Secureline Marker II/SuperFrost HistoPrep Pen, black) for labeling.


  • Tissue containers: Place the specimen label on the container, not the lid. For multiple specimens, each specimen should go into a separate container, labeled with the correct anatomic site and correspond to the listed specimens on the requisition form.
  • Cassettes/tissue blocks should be properly labeled
  • Slides should be labeled on the frosted end

Use an appropriately sized container so as not to distort the specimen. Ideally, the volume of formalin should be at least 10 times the volume of the specimen; for larger specimens, the entire specimen should at least be covered. The fixative must be marked on the container.

Containers and fixatives such as formalin and Michel's solution are available from the Histopathology Laboratory. In the event that a specimen cannot be placed in formalin, place it in a refrigerator in a clean container; specimens should not be allowed to remain more than eight hours without fixation.

Disposal of Specimens
Unless the department is advised otherwise, all specimens are destroyed after approximately eight weeks. Tissue blocks and slides are kept indefinitely, unless the patient directs otherwise.

Lab Location
1402 South Grand Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63104 [map