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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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Rapid Tissue Processing: Transplant Patients

Turn-around time is a critical factor that will determine how each institution processes liver biopsies. Clinicians may require rapid, same day diagnosis for patients that have had a liver or bone marrow transplant. Clinicians may be looking for conditions such as acute organ rejection or graft-versus-host (GVH) disease.
Two modes of rapid processing in today's histopathology laboratory are with the use of a microwave tissue processor or modifying a traditional biopsy tissue processing cycle to a 1.5-2.5 hour, same day, rapid program. The specific length of processing is dependent on the size of the tissue and time in formalin prior to arriving in the laboratory to assure adequate tissue fixation. Laboratory staff may refer to these specimens using a variety of terms such as rush, first out, priority, or STAT.
Below is an example of a 1.5 hour, same day, rapid tissue processing program:

ReagentTemperature (°C)Time (minutes)
Alcoholic formalin4010
Alcohol 95%4010
Alcohol 100%4010
Alcohol 100%4010
Xylene4010
Xylene4010
Paraffin6010
Paraffin6010
Paraffin6010