Driving Directions

Biopsy Submission Guidelines

PSMG accepts specimens from physicians, podiatrists, qualified nurse practitioners, osteopaths, dentists and chiropractors. Other individuals wishing to submit tissue for analysis should contact their health care provider.

Specimen Preservation

Surgical / Tissue


We provide our non-hospital based clients with prefilled containers of 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin.  Formalin is the most commonly used fixative in Histopathology.  Formalin should be used for tissues and not for fluids or pap smears.  Formalin preserves the best when the ratio of Formalin to tissue is 20:1.  This guideline should help you to choose the most appropriate container size for your specimen.  For most biopsies, the 1 oz container is sufficient.  Formalin is not allowed in the municipal waste system.  If you have bottles which have expired, please returned them to us via a PSMG courier and we will dispose of it for you. An MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet), that provides health information, as well as, information regarding the manufacturer and emergency treatment is available upon request.  Formalin can irritate the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat and is most commonly noticed by either a burning sensation or a pungent smell.  For this reason, we recommend only removing the lid when you are ready to place a specimen in the jar and tightly closing it immediately. Should you accidently spill a container of Formalin, absorb it with paper towels and discard it in a covered waste receptacle.  Pads, granules and sprays are available for neutralizing any spilled Formalin and are highly recommended.  They are available from American Mastertech (www.americanmastertech.com 1-800-860-4073) or Lab Safety and Supply (www.labsafety.com 1-800-356-0783.)


Special Tests

Special arrangements are needed for the following special tests/studies:

DO NOT place the following in Formalin:

Fresh Tissue for Non-Routine Studies (To provide a means for non-hospital sources, such as clinics, to send fresh tissue for special studies such as flow cytometry).

  • Lymph nodes should be placed saline dampened gauze and sent immediately to PSMG; the tissue should not be exposed to any fixative, but rather sent fresh directly to PSMG via surgery center/clinic courier.
  • Any fresh tissues other than lymph nodes should be similarly prepared (placed in saline-dampened gauze), but be sent to Enloe Clinical Laboratory for frozen section.
  • The usual requirements for specimen labeling and patient demographics information detailed elsewhere in this policy apply to fresh tissue as well; a pertinent clinical history is especially important to appropriately direct ancillary studies.

Urologic Stones for Chemical Analysis (hospital send out; otherwise, we will forward the stones to an outside laboratory for you)

Electron Microscopy

Immunofluorescence testing

Gout tissue – Must be submitted in 100% reagent alcohol

Cytology specimens (including Pap smears and Non-Gyn)    


Note: If lymphoma or other lymphoid malignancies is a primary diagnostic consideration, special diagnostic procedures may be helpful, some of which require fresh tissue. Please call in advance if this is the case and we will help make arrangements for these tests.    

Please contact us with questions or to request a specimen pick-up. 

The CAP Certification Mark is a service mark owned by CAP and is used pursuant to a license from CAP.