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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Liver Biopsies: Anatomy and Histological Considerations. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Step Sections

Most laboratories have worked with their team of pathologists to establish preferred protocols for sectioning routine and biopsy tissue. Providing two to three step levels of a liver biopsy to the pathologist for evaluation is recommended. A step level is accomplished by providing a superficial representative section on the first slide, then proceeding to cut the next step level by facing off approximately 30-50 μm of tissue depending upon the thickness of the liver biopsy. It is necessary for a histotechnologist to utilize their best judgment when performing step sectioning of a liver biopsy as to not exhaust all of the diagnostic tissue. If three step levels are provided on three slides, it is also recommended to save any unstained tissue used for further testing, such as special and immunohistochemical (IHC) stains between step levels two and three.