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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Basic Tissue Orientation and Paraffin Embedding Technique. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Small to Medium Sized Specimens with Multiple Pieces

Specimens such as curettage, prostate TURP chips, and other irregularly shaped, multiple piece specimens without clear orientation, should be arranged in the block face to show as much surface area of the pieces as possible in the final sections. Try to position each of the pieces to point in the same general direction to reduce as much drag as possible during sectioning, since this can reduce section puckering and wrinkling. You must strive to get all the pieces to harden in the same plane so that one complete, representative section can be obtained.

Single curettage piece with a clear cut surface.

Multiple flat curettage pieces.