Grossing Information and Courses from MediaLab, Inc.
These are the MediaLab courses that cover Grossing and links to relevant pages within the course.
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|Basic Tissue Orientation|
Many different tissue specimens may be submitted to the typical histology laboratory. Identification of each tissue type is very important for proper embedding orientation. An understanding of the surgical techniques and grossing methods for common specimens will allow visual recognition of the more common tissue types.
|Review: General Orientation Guidelines|
Specimens with a longer side versus width, such as core biopsies, are ideally arranged in parallel rows perpendicular to what will be the long axis of the slide.Larger specimens should be embedded face up or face down, making sure they lie flat and are in one plane.Multiple fragments of any specimen should be embedded within the same level and in a manner to show the most surface area.Lumen openings must be embedded in cross-section.Stratified layers should be embedded on edge to show all layers.Place at an angle any dense, rigid, or brittle specimens to aid microtomy.Leave a large perimeter of paraffin, especially around fatty specimens.Special orientation instructions are best given in relationship to the block face.If there are questions or concerns about orientation, it is always best to hold the specimen and ask for assistance from the grossing pathologists' assistant (PA) or pathologist to avoid losing important diagnostic information due to incorrect orientation.
Good practices and careful attention can prevent contamination from block to block from occurring during the embedding step.Open only ONE cassette at a time. Open lids, mesh bags, and lens papers carefully to avoid specimen fragments from "flipping" outward and potentially being lost. Wipe forceps between each specimen. Be especially careful with forceps bearing small "teeth" or grooves at the tips. Wash non-disposable base molds frequently. It is good practice to wipe a mold that has previously been used with a gauze pad before using for another specimen.Embed any pieces that appear to "not belong" or to be contamination from grossing or handling into a far corner of the block face away from what you believe to be the intended specimen. This communicates that you think it "doesn't belong" and makes it easy to identify/locate for removal from the block if it is determined that it is a contamination.
|A final microscopic slide shows a tissue section with an incomplete outline that is not representative of the submitted specimen. What is one of the MOST likely causes of incomplete sections that occurs during embedding?||View Page|
|Fume Hoods and Other Controls|
Engineering controls must be established to reduce formalin exposure to the lowest possible level. In most cases, chemical fume hoods or/and ventilated grossing stations serve as the primary engineering controls to reduce formaldehyde vapors. Rooms in which formalin is used may also require special direct exhaust ventilation. Formaldehyde should be dispensed or used in a chemical fume hood or other appropriately ventilated and approved work area. Check your laboratory's policies and procedures to be sure you use the engineering controls provided, as well as the required personal protective equipment.