In order to gain the maximum amount of information we need to
treat certain specimens in a special way. In order to do this
you need to liaise with us before you take the specimen, to discuss
appropriate fixation, if any and transport.
If you are unsure about anything, including whether a
specimen should be sent fresh or fixed in formalin, please discuss
this with us by ringing either a consultant histopathologist or a
senior member of the technical staff (techniques requiring fresh
specimens will not be available once the specimen is
If there are any queries out of hours then the advice of the on
call Consultant Paediatric Histopathologist (contacted through CMFT
switchboard) should be sought.
The following specimens should be sent FRESH immediately
following surgical removal and should be discussed with us in
advance by telephoning the laboratory on ext 12240 (fresh specimens
should be refrigerated while awaiting porter/transport to the
- Rectal biopsies for Hirschsprung's Disease
- Renal biopsies
- Muscle biopsies - some muscle biopsies are for mitochondrial
disease in which case some material will have to be sent to the
Willink Laboratory. We need to be informed if this is the
Lymph node biopsies
- Skin biopsies for electron microscopy. Skin biopsies for
fibroblast culture are not for histopathology, and should be sent
to either the Willink Laboratory or Cytogenetics.
- Lung biopsies
- Liver biopsies for metabolic disease (usually glycogen storage
- Some specimens e.g. muscle biopsies may be forwarded to other
laboratories for further examination. For details please contact
the Histology laboratory on 12240
- Cytology specimens for the limited repertoire detailed
- Please note Department of Adult histopathology performs
immunofluorescence on skin biopsies from paediatric patients. These
samples need to be sent unfixed. However there is no out of hours
service. The on-call paediatric pathologist will be able to advise
you what to do.
Any other specimens not listed above should be fixed in formalin
as soon as possible before transport to the laboratory. Formalin
fixed specimens should be kept at room temperature. Turnaround of
specimens is at least 2-3 days for routine formalin fixed
specimens. If extra specialist work is required the turnaround time
will be increased.
Specimens containing bone or teeth require decalcification and
this can take days to weeks depending on the size of bone.
(Last updated February 25th 2015)