Histology Home

Welcome to Histology

Following is a quick overview to how the specimens are handled. With the exception of frozen sections, samples of tissue are generally;

  • Fixed (preserved in formalin for between a few hours and  up to 3 days)
  • Dissected (macroscopically examined, described & sampled by a Biomedical Scientist or a Pathologist)
  • Processed overnight (water is gradually replaced by molten wax)
  • Embedded (tissue is embedded in molten wax, attached to a cassette and allowed to harden forming a block)
  • Sectioned ( a tissue section which is around 3 micrometer thick is cut from the block using a microtome, floated into a waterbath and collected onto a microscope slide)
  • Stained (the tissue on the slide is dyed – usually with Haematoxylin & eosin but many other techniques can be used to demonstrate particular cellular features)
  • Examined under a microscope by a Pathologist to identify/ classify  disease and issue a report to the requesting doctor

For Details on our Special Stains please click the following link.

- Special Stains

For information regarding Fresh Specimens, Renal Attendance And Mohs Surgery, Please click the relevant options below.

Fresh Specimens

Some specimens may need to reach the laboratory in a fresh state where tissue storage, electron microscopy or specialised enzyme techniques are likely to be required or for frozen section. In such cases, phone the laboratory with 24 hrs notice to book the procedure.

When taking the specimens, place them in a fully labelled clean dry container.

Some samples may need wrapping in moist gauze or sterile polythene sheet.

Telephone the laboratory to inform them the sample is on its way. Then the samples should be sent immediately, accompanied by a completed request form.

Renal Attendance

Renal attendance

A biomedical scientist (BMS) will arrive at a patient’s clinical attendance in order to advise a clinician who is taking a renal biopsy so that they have a sufficient quantity of the right tissue to enable appropriate tests in order for our pathologists to make a diagnosis.

In order for the BMS to advise the clinician the clinic will need to book a renal attendance with the histopathology laboratory, we will require several details:

  • Patient’s name and hospital number
  • The location where the renal biopsy is to be undertaken
  • What time the renal taking will be expected to be done at
  • Whether there is a chance of infection, i.e. HIV, TB, Hepatitis etc
  • Whether the diagnosis is for a native or transplant kidney

Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery was developed in 1938 by surgeon, Frederic E. Mohs, where it is a microscopically controlled surgery used to treat  many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), the two most common types of skin cancer.

Mohs is done in stages, where during surgery after each removal of tissue and while the patient waits, the tissue is examined for cancer cells. This will dictate the decision for additional tissue removal, the process allows the removal of all cancerous cells for the highest cure rate while sparing healthy tissue and leaving the smallest possible scar on a patient.

Mohs surgeries are attended by a pair of biomedical scientists (BMSs) in order to assist in the creation of microscopic slides of the tissue; these slides are then examined by a dermatologist, who will indicate whether there is the completion of excision to the cancer cells has been established.  

Clinics are normally held Mondays through to Wednesday at the Nottingham Treatment Centre, as a day case surgery, and arranged with the surgeons or co-ordinator to ensure the BMSs are in present.

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