Tissue processing is a key component of the histologic examination. This article covers it superficially. It is something a pathologist should have a rudimentary understanding of.
What happens to the tissue
In an ideal world the pathologist gets the tissue fresh and divides it up in the following way:
- Electron microscopy.
- Molecular genetics.
- Flow cytometry.
- Tissue banks - institutional, regional, national, international.
- Tissue culture.
- Fixation -- formalin.
- Embedding -- replace water (in the tissue) with (paraffin) wax - using a series of alcohols.
- Sectioning -- cut with microtome ~ 3-10 micrometers thick, routinue is usu. 6-8 micrometers.
- Anatomical pathology laboratory processes.
- Tissue fixation.
- Molecular pathology.
- Tissue floater.
- Tissue loss.
- PST. 14 February 2011.
- URL: http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/HISTHTML/HISTOTCH/HISTOTCH.html. Accessed on: 7 March 2011.