Physician & Staff FAQ

Table of Contents

Can breast biopsies be submitted in formalin?
How do you submit lymph node biopsies for lymphoma study?
Can TML transport a fetus for autopsy?
How do you submit specimens for chromosome analysis?
How is a muscle biopsy submitted?


Can breast biopsies be submitted in formalin?

Per CAP guidelines and standard quality patient care, breast tissue samples should be fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin for at least 6 hours up to a maximum of 72 hours for potential estrogen/progesterone receptor and HER2 studies.

Tissue ischemic time (the time the tissue was removed from the body until placed in formalin) must be documented on the tissue requisition.

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How do you submit lymph node biopsies for lymphoma study?

Place a freshly collected tissue sample into a labeled specimen container with approximately 10 ml of RPMI media. Amount of tissue needed is approximately 0.5 ccs (smaller amounts acceptable for specimens such as GI biopsies). A separate specimen may be submitted in formalin for routine histology, or if large enough, the specimen submitted in RPMI can be divided for flow cytometry and routine histology.

A provider may call Tulsa Medical Laboratory at (918-481-7859) should their supply of RPMI become low, expire, or become contaminated. RPMI will be delivered with the next TML courier.

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Can TML transport a fetus for autopsy?

Tulsa Medical Laboratory couriers may not transport a stillborn fetus of 20 weeks or greater. The originating facility is responsible for arranging for a funeral home to transport the stillborn to Saint Francis Hospital morgue.

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How do you submit specimens for chromosome analysis?

Fetal tissue/POC which has been compromised, e.g. formalin-fixed specimens, frozen samples, necrotic tissue, or obviously contaminated specimens cannot be used for chromosome study. Chromosome studies can be performed on fresh tissue, tissue received in saline, or tissue received in RPMI. The tissue should not be placed in the refrigerator, and should be delivered to Saint Francis Genetics ASAP.

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How is a muscle biopsy submitted?

The muscle biopsy should be 1.5-2 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter with all fascicles oriented parallel to the long axis.

The biopsy should be sutured stretched on a tongue depressor and then wrapped in a saline-dampened gauze to keep damp. It should not be immersed in saline or formalin.

Tulsa Medical Laboratory (918-481-7859) should be notified of the time and date of the scheduled muscle biopsy at least 24 hours prior to the date of the biopsy so that TML can coordinate STAT courier pickup of the specimen.

Biopsies should be performed before 11:00 a.m. in order to provide sufficient time for transport and processing.

The laboratory of the performing facility should be notified that a muscle biopsy is being performed and must be picked up by the Tulsa Medical Laboratory courier.

The biopsy should be accompanied by a completed tissue requisition, a copy of the patient’s H&P, as well as lab work (especially creatine kinase) and EMG studies, if available.

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