Sample preparation for histology


To ensure your histology samples reach us in the best possible condition for processing and interpretation, we have some tips for how the samples need to be handled before you send them to us.

> Samples to be submitted for histology must be fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin, in a 10:1 ratio of formalin to tissue.  So if your sample weighs 50 g it will need to be placed in 500 mL of formalin.

> For optimum fixation to occur, ensure the sample is placed in an appropriately sized container that is approved for use with formalin. The container should be a wide necked container, as samples swell during the fixation process and can be difficult to remove from bottles, etc.

> If you do not have an appropriately sized container to allow for a 10:1 ratio, or if you do not have any formalin, or the formalin that you have is less than 10%, then please state this clearly on the submission form.  This will enable our staff to transfer the sample into an appropriate sized container and/or add 10% formalin immediately on arrival at the laboratory.

> Avoid cutting into the specimen, as this can interfere with obtaining clean sections of margins and correct measurements.

For more information on handling of histology samples, please refer to the histopathology section of our online Vet Handbook, or simply give us a call.  We’re always happy to help.