Initial procedure

• weigh the specimen (g) and measure in three dimensions (mm). If the gland appears grossly normal, attached soft tissue may be dissected off and the naked gland reweighed.

• identify and measure (cm) any adjacent organs or structures such as the adrenal vein, if attached.

• if the specimen is infiltrated by obvious tumour, paint the entire surrounding connective tissue; if there is a localised mass, paint its outer surface.

• fix the specimen by immersion in 10% formalin for at least 24 hours.

• serially section the entire specimen at 3 mm intervals perpendicular to the longest axis of any localised mass (Figure 36.1) and lay the sections out sequentially for examination and photography.

• look for lymph nodes in any attached soft tissue.

Section perpendicular to the long axis of the lesion

Adrenal cortex

Adrenal medulla

Adrenal cortex

Adrenal medulla

Adrenal mass, medulla cortex and capsule

Figure 36.1. Sectioning an adrenal gland mass.

Adrenal mass, cortex and capsule

Adrenal mass, medulla cortex and capsule

Figure 36.1. Sectioning an adrenal gland mass.

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