THE JOURNEY OF A TISSUE BIOPSY
Doctor removes biopsy specimen
Specimen placed in container with formalin to preserve the tissue for testing
A mixture of water and formaldehyde
To enhance workflow & help improve patient safety, it is critical that laboratories use modern technologies to label patient samples & slides with barcodes – to help reduce labeling errors, track samples and slides & ensure that the right patient gets the right test results.
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Container labeled with patient’s name and other identifying information sent to pathology lab with pathology requisition form
Pathology requisition form
Includes patient information, identifies who submitted the biopsy, the date the biopsy was taken, information about symptoms, other abnormal test results, and what type of disease the doctor expects the biopsy may show
Pathologist looks at specimen without a microscope; this is called gross examination
Container is accessioned
In medicine, gross means seen without a microscope; the gross examination is important since the pathologist often sees features that suggest cancer
A pathologist is a physician who examines tissue samples and interprets the results to help inform a patient’s diagnosis and treatment. He or she works closely with the patient’s other doctors and is a critical member of the patient’s healthcare team.
Given a specific number
Tissue to be further examined is placed into cassettes to hold it securely for processing
A histologist is an important member of the laboratory team who prepares patient tissue samples and performs special studies to aide the pathologist in diagnosing disease.
A histologist places the sample into a mold with hot paraffin wax that cools to form a solid block that protects the tissue
Paraffin wax block with the embedded tissue is placed on an instrument called a microtome, and cut into thin slices
Specimen slices are placed on glass slides and stained to change the color of the tissue, making cells easier to see
Automated staining can help laboratories deliver consistent, high quality stains to pathologists. Many laboratories use automated slide staining instruments to efficiently stain & process each patient’s slide individually.
Pathologist looks at stained tissue under a microscope or reviews digitally
Based on the information the stained tissue reveals, pathologist requests additional testing or makes diagnosis & passes to oncologist
A pathologist may choose to scan a glass slide and review it digitally in high definition, to zoom in on areas of interest and/or share slide images with other experts online.
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