Tissue processing

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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:[1]

  1. Formalin.
  2. Electron microscopy.
  3. Molecular genetics.
  4. Cytogenetics.
  5. Flow cytometry.
  6. Tissue banks - institutional, regional, national, international.
  7. Tissue culture.

Tissue processing

Basic process:

  1. Fixation -- formalin.
  2. Embedding -- replace water (in the tissue) with (paraffin) wax - using a series of alcohols.
  3. Sectioning -- cut with microtome ~ 3-10 micrometers thick, routinue is usu. 6-8 micrometers.[2]
  4. Staining.

See also


  1. PST. 14 February 2011.
  2. URL: http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/HISTHTML/HISTOTCH/HISTOTCH.html. Accessed on: 7 March 2011.

External links