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Histology/Cytology Specimen Collection

Tissue Specimen

Different categories of tissue specimens are processed by the histology laboratory of Pathologists' Regional Laboratory.  If you have questions about proper specimen handling, call and speak to a pathologist, or technical personnel in the anatomic pathology lab in Clarkston (509)758-5576.

 Specimen

 

 Handling Instructions

Bone biopsies
(tumors, infections, pathologic fractures, etc.)

 

 

Handle as a routine specimen, and include if possible a radiograph of the lesion, and a radiologist’s impression or report.

 Breast biopsies

 

Whether needle biopsies, or larger specimens (including specimens in a compression device) mammograms of the specimen are helpful in identifying the main areas of interest, and should be submitted whenever possible.

 Frozen section specimen

 

Immediately deliver fresh (no fixative) to the frozen section room at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center or to the anatomic pathology laboratory in Clarkston.

 Lymph Node

 

Immediately deliver fresh (no fixative) to the frozen section room at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center (notify a pathologist immediately) or to the specimen receiving window of the laboratory, or to the anatomic pathology laboratory in Clarkston.  Notify laboratory personnel that you have a fresh tissue specimen.

 Routine biopsy, excision, or resection

 

Place specimen in 10% formalin, in a container large enough to ensure adequate coverage of the specimen.  A recommended volume of formalin to specimen is 10: 1.

 Tissue for microbiology

 

Deliver fresh to the specimen processing receiving window of the laboratory.  Notify laboratory personnel that you have a fresh tissue specimen.

 Tissue for genetic Studies (chromosome analysis)

 

Immediately deliver fresh (no fixative) to the specimen receiving window of the laboratory.  Notify laboratory personnel that you have a fresh tissue specimen.


Please observe the following procedures for extragenital cytology specimens obtained in outlying hospitals and to be sent to Pathologists' Regional Laboratory.  If specimens are received without fixative, follow the instructions below for each type of specimen.

 

Do Not Prepare Any Slides, be sure a Tissue/Cytology requisition is completed and sent with each specimen.  Containers must have labels with patient identification and specimen type. 

**Note: Specimen containers must be in biohazard bags**

Breast Cyst

Handle the same as pleural and peritoneal effusions.

Bronchial Washings    

If microbiology is ordered, remove an appropriate volume and place in a sterile container or transport media.  Preserve the rest of the specimen with an equal amount of Cytolyt®.  Mix thoroughly.

Gastric Washings

These specimens require special handling.  The specimen bottle(s) should be placed in ice during lavage to retard enzymatic activity.  If gastric analysis is to be performed, remove as much of specimen(s) as needed.  Fix the balance of specimen with cytology fixative (an equal volume) and refrigerate. 

Miscellaneous Aspirates, Synovial Joint Fluid, Cul-de-sac Aspiration and Intraperitoneal Fluid

Mix with equal volume of Cytolyt®. 

Pleural Peritoneal and Pericardial Fluids

If volume is excessive, pour off top portion (100-200 cc’s is adequate for evaluation). Refrigerate immediately until specimen is sent to Pathologists' Regional Laboratory. 

Do not add fixative.


Spinal Fluid

Add an equal volume of Cytolyt®.

Sputum                   

If specimen is not received in a regular sputum collection bottle, add a volume of Cytolyt® slightly in excess of the specimen. Volume of sputum specimen should not exceed two (2) teaspoons.

Urine

If volume is excessive, pour off top portion (60-100 cc’s is adequate for evaluation).  Add an equal amount of Cytolyt®.  Mix thoroughly.

 All specimens should be sent via courier to Pathologists' Regional Laboratory as soon as possible.  Specimen bottles and preservatives are available from the Anatomic Pathology Laboratory in Clarkston.