Microscopic information about the behaviour and nature of cells within a tissue sample is examined in order to supplement and guide the clinical team to develop the most appropriate treatment pathway for each individual patient.
|Sample & container required||Whole unprocessed tissue samples – a sample of tissue or an organ needs to be sent to the Histopathology department in an adequately sized container, fully labelled with patient demographics and sample type (eg. duodenal biopsy). All whole unprocessed tissue samples require sufficient 10 % formal saline/10 % neutral buffered formalin to cover the specimen
Unstained sections on glass slides – as many slides as deemed appropriate on adhesive slides, fully labelled with the patient demographics in a sealed slide carrier
Wax blocks – as many blocks as deemed appropriate, marked with the sending laboratory’s accession number. Wrap the blocks in protective material to prevent crushing damage in transit
|Turnaround time||(Excluding cases requiring decalcification, referral or other additional investigations) the department aims to have 80% reported within 7 calendar days and 90% reported within 10 calendar days. Due to the complex interpretive nature of histopathology specimens this may not always be achievable.|
At times, it may be necessary to refer work to other laboratories or consultants. This requirement is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Referral centres are selected based on the EQA schemes in which they participate, any reported EQA exceptions, average turnaround times and accreditation status. There are occasions where a centre without accreditation status is used; this is because it is a national referral centre and, on this basis, is deemed expert in this field. When cases require a specialist second opinion, they are referred by our pathologist to another pathologist, in line with the West London Cancer Network guidelines.