Biopsy - Preparing the Specimendica
tissue is thin and flimsy. If you merely place it into fixative, it
will curl. If it fixes in a curled configuration, it may be difficult
for your pathologist to assess margins properly.
1. Keeping the specimen flat
the specimen on an absorbent mount (filter paper or the inner paper
wrapping of your surgical gloves -- if the paper is absorbent and
2. Indicating margins
the specimen on the mount until some moisture from the tissue runs
into the mount (only about 10 - 15 seconds)
the specimen into a vial of fixative (formalin), mount-side down.
tissue has been placed on a flat absorbable mount and is being
placed into a container filled with fixative.
not paint the margins of a conjunctival biopsy with methylene blue
or toluidine blue (these dyes are aqueous based and will "bleed"
into the sample).
surgeon made two mistakes in preparing this specimen. First, the
margins were painted with a blue aqueous-based dye which bled into
the specimen -- the whole piece of tissue is colored blue! Second,
the surgeon tossed the specimen into fixative without taking precautions
to keep it flat. The sample is permanently curled and it is difficult
to evaluate this tissue for adequacy of surgical margins.
may be useful to tag a margin with a suture, indicating which margin
is tagged on the pathology requisition form (e.g., suture through
the nasal margin).
information about conjunctival biopsies
you have more questions about preparing conjunctival biopsy specimens,
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