skip to main content

Surgical Tissue/Biopsy Submission Guidelines

specimen transport container
PSMG accepts specimens from physicians, osteopaths, dentists, chiropractors and other qualified health care providers. Other individuals wishing to submit tissue for analysis should contact their health care provider.
Specimen Preservation, Collection and Submission

Specimen Preservation, Collection and Submission

**SDS (Safety Data Sheets) are available upon request for all fixatives used at
Pathology Sciences Medical Group.**

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 volume ratio of Formalin to tissue is 20:1, but a 10:1 ratio is adequate for routine work. This guideline should help you to choose the most appropriate container size for your specimen. For most biopsies, the 20ml container is sufficient.

Breast tissue must be placed in formalin within an hour after removal from the body. The time the specimen was removed and the time the tissue was submerged in formalin must be documented on either the specimen requisition or bottle.

Formalin is not allowed in the municipal waste system. If you have bottles which have expired, please return them to us via a PSMG courier and we will dispose of it for you.

SPECIAL TESTS: Special arrangements are needed for the special tests/studies listed below. Please DO NOT place the following in Formalin:

Electron Microscopy- Call for transport arrangements and fixatives.

Fresh Tissue for Non-Routine Tests: frozen sections, flow cytometry, etc. (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 in RPMI flow cytometry fluid or 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 sent to Enloe Clinical Lab 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.

Gout tissue - Must be submitted in 100% reagent alcohol.

Immunofluorescence testing - Michel’s solution (available upon request, please give 24 hours’ notice).

Urologic Stones for Chemical Analysis - Must be sent fresh (hospital send out their own; otherwise, we will forward the stones to an outside laboratory for you).

Please contact us with questions or to request a specimen pick-up. 
cap Accredited
The CAP Certification Mark is a service mark owned by CAP and is used pursuant to a license from CAP.