[Histonet] Unstained slides - how long are they good for?

Mark Tarango marktarango at gmail.com
Sun Aug 19 17:02:50 CDT 2018

Hi Everyone!

I have seen unstained slides save a patient from re-biopsy many times.
Usually it will be a case where a patient has a known diagnosis, like lung
cancer.  In these types of cases after diagnosis molecular testing (and IHC
for PD-L1) is usually ordered.  There have been countless times that I can
recall where a few unstained slides on a biopsy with scant tumor was able
to get us results for PD-L1, ALK FISH, and ROS1 FISH.  Often in these types
of a cases a touch prep can be used for Next Generation Sequencing or PCR
testing like EGFR or BRAF, allowing for the full panel of molecular tests
to be performed.  For cases that are small specimens I would prefer to have
unstained slides to fall back on for patient convenience, client
satisfaction, and quicker TAT of molecular testing.

Re-biopsy and re-diagnosing the new sample costs money to the patient and
payers and having some unstained slides can often save those costs
providing more value to the original biopsy.  Sometimes when we try to save
money in the lab it can result in more money being spent on healthcare
overall. It is true that some antigens become more difficult to stain over
time and storage is an important consideration.  Limiting the production of
unstained slides to small and scant needle may make storage more practical.

Just some more things to consider.


Mark Tarango

On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 4:48 PM, P Sicurello via Histonet <
histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu> wrote:

> Hello My Fellow Histologists,
> Happy Friday Eve.
> The question has come up......  How long are *unstained* slides good for?
> Not for H&E but tests like IHC and molecular testing.  These slides have
> been cut, stored at room temperature, not sealed in anyway, and kept in a
> cardboard box.
> Please let me know what your opinions are and what your retention policy is
> concerning *unstained* slides.
> Thanks oodles.
> Sincerely,
> Paula Sicurello, HTL (ASCP)CM
> Histotechnology Specialist
> UC San Diego Health
> 200 Arbor Drive
> San Diego, CA 92103
> (P): 619-543-2872
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