[Histonet] Microtomy question

Rene J Buesa rjbuesa at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 19 08:55:33 CDT 2017

It is impossible to say how deep to cut into a block. First the PA must be sure s/he was sure the tumor/lesion was in the piece submitted to process. If that is the case, the one who casted the block must be sure the lesion is as near the block surface as possible in a way that when the block is trimmed, the lesion is macroscopically visible.The rest depends on the pathologist is s/he can make the diagnosis with the slides first submitted or if deeper sections are required.Usually deeper sections are requested when the tumor or abnormal tissue is visible and more information is required. It is very rare that a pathologist requests deeper to find the lesion, unless trimming has been so superficial that the slide barely reveals the processed tissue.Usually lesion will be near the center of the tissue processed because the PA leaves tissue around the lesion. If this practice is followed, the histotechs should trim until the sections closely has the same size (area) as the processed tissue.If the pathologist asks for deepers several times, and s/he is sure there should be a lesion in the section, keep presenting sections until the lesion is found.As an advise, do not discard sections and keep at least 1 every 5 sections to prevent a very small lesion is lost for ever and the diagnosis cannot be made.Consult always with your pathologist, especially asking if there should be a lesion, because the whole problem may reside in the fact that the PA did not include what the pathologist is looking for in the tissue submitter for processing.René 

    On Wednesday, July 19, 2017 9:30 AM, Charles Riley via Histonet <histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu> wrote:

 We currently are having issues with our pathologists asking for deeper
levels. They complain that they are not finding tumors that should be there
and need us to go deeper.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how far into a block I should explain
to my techs to go in order to help them get over the fear of going too deep
into a block?


Charles Riley BS  HT, HTL(ASCP)CM

Histopathology Coordinator/ Mohs
Histonet mailing list
Histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu


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