Embedding Follow- up in the Surgical Pathology Laboratory

Embedding follow up is part of sampling orientation in the processing cassette. It  is becoming less common in current gross room practice. However, it allows the grossing person to see the immediate results of sampling that can influence the diagnostic outcome of the case. An efficient follow- up can be carried out only if appropriate conditions, foremost orientation in the processing cassette, were established during sampling. The table (below) summarizes some of the orientation techniques.


Notes on the grossing   log Gelfoam with   cyanoacrylate
Notes in or on   cassettes Agar-agar
Notches on the section Cucumber slabs
Inking Histo-Gel
      What’s else? Foam pads, others …

Details of the orientation in the cassette are presented in the article Orientation during Sampling in Surgical Pathology.

In addition, by occasionally participating in the process of embedding samples on a special notice and through occasional occurrences, the grossing practitioner can see how many samples can be placed in the cassette. The results can be influenced by both the environmental conditions of embedding and the specific skills of the practitioners, because histotechnologists have different levels of agility and understanding of the process. For example, where in one instance four cores of prostate needle biopsy may be appropriate; in different instances two cores would be too many.

During follow- ups, the grossing person can see how completely the submission has been carried out, allow subsequent corrections during sampling, and see how informative the ink and knife marks have been.

These remarks about embedding follow-ups have been intentionally placed in a short, separate essay like article. Otherwise this part of sampling would be unnoticed among other grossing techniques issues. In the real life of the surgical pathology laboratory practice, this provision may not be completely attainable, but the more it is implemented the better the quality out the final sampling outcome- a diagnostically valuable histology slide.

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