Blocks for Histology

In cases of neoplastic disease, the histology should represent the tumour, its relationship to the adjacent mucosa and underlying bone or cartilage. Focal abnormalities of mucosa need to be sampled.

• three blocks of tumour to illustrate the interface with adjacent normal tissues.

• three blocks of adjacent mucosa.

• closest deep surgical margin.

• samples of other lesions, e.g., nodules or polyps.

• in intact specimens, sample the mucosal margins before sawing the bone and submit separately (reduces contamination of the margins). Cut with a sharp blade firmly down to bone and use a flat blunt instrument to dissect mucosa free from the bone.

• in intact specimens, saw the bone into 0.5 cm slices in the transverse plane (vertical plane in vivo).

• if fragmented, bread-slice larger specimens and submit as labelled blocks. Microscopic analysis may allow reconstruction and useful assessment of margins.

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