Proper handling and fixation of biopsies is essential for histologic interpretation. The smaller the specimen, the more susceptible it is to unwanted artifacts. Biopsies should be handled gently to avoid crush artifact; they should be placed in fixative promptly to achieve good histologic preservation; and there should be a sensibility to distortions produced by the thermal injury of cautery.
Many fixatives are available but 10% buffered formalin is the best for general use.
Method of Collection
- Procure the biopsy as gently as possible, avoiding undue trauma with forceps, clamps, and cautery.
- Place in formalin fixative immediately.
- Use an appropriately sized container. The entire specimen should be fully immersed in formalin.
- Firmly secure the lid of the container to avoid spills or loss of the specimen.
- Label the container (not the lid) with the patient’s name and site of biopsy.
- If there are multiple specimens from different anatomic sites, place each specimen in a separate container.
- Complete the Calpath requisition form per the instructions. Provide all relevant information, including patient demographic data, site of biopsy, date of biopsy, and clinical diagnosis.
- Place the specimen in the Calpath specimen bag.
- Place the requisition form in the side slot of the Calpath specimen bag.
- Call Calpath for a pick-up or
- Place the Calpath specimen bag in the location where our courier usually picks up your daily specimens.