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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cellular Pathology

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Histology

Specimen / container requirements

Place specimen into a leak-proof container which has sufficient capacity to add 10 percent formalin (3 x the volume of the sample is required).

Fix specimens as soon as possible (except where test requires fresh samples - details below).

JR histology tests - routine diagnosis of biopsies, excisional biopsies and resections

Fresh samples

Only send the following samples fresh if there is a clinical need: otherwise, fix as per other specimens.

  • Breast specimens
  • Gastrointestinal specimens
  • Lymphoid tissue
  • Lung specimens

Renal biopsies

Native samples and transplants over six months.

Send two cores minimum:

  • one in millonigs fixative
  • one in fresh, phosphate buffer.

(Contact lab for formulations - keep cool.)

Transplant samples less than six months

Send at least:

  • one core in millonigs fixative.

Tissue donation assessment

Send at least:

  • one core in formalin.

Urgent samples

Urgent samples received by 14:00 hours will be processed, cut and stained that day.

Urgent samples after 14:00 hours, contact the laboratory before sending.

For out-of-hours requests the on-call BMS and the Renal Consultant Pathologist must be informed immediately.

Routine samples that will not reach the lab by 16:30

Refrigerate unfixed specimens and send ASAP the following day.

Skin samples for immunofluorescence

Place sample into labelled nunc tube.

Freeze in liquid nitrogen.

Transport in insulated shipper to Pathology Laboratory reception.

If liquid nitrogen is unavailable, use:

  • normal saline (maximum 24 hours) or
  • Michels transport medium (24 - 48 hours).

NOC histology tests

Bone, soft tissue, osteoarticular samples - routine diagnosis.