Specimens 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 histopathology requisition.
All specimens must be submitted in a properly labeled container that, at 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.
Use an appropriately sized container so as not to distort the specimen. The fixative must be marked on the container. Ideally, the volume of formalin should be at least 10 times the volume of the specimen; for larger specimens, the entire specimen should, at minimum, be entirely covered.
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 the biopsy on saline-moistened telfa (preferred) or gauze, inside a properly labeled specimen container and place it in a refrigerator. Specimens allowed to remain without fixation or flash freezing for more than three hours will cause artifact.
Disposal and Return of Specimens
Unless the department is advised otherwise, all residual wet tissue specimens are destroyed approximately six weeks after the final report is issued. Tissue blocks and slides are kept indefinitely, unless the patient or ordering physician/institution directs otherwise.
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