How are biopsy specimens handled?
Proper handling of the biopsy specimen is key to a successful procedure and outcome. Availability of an on-site cytologist facilitates a preliminary assessment of the biopsy aspirate. On-site cytologists can help direct whether additional sampling is needed and whether a core biopsy is recommended. They can also suggest if microbiology specimens should be obtained. Cytologic specimens are placed in cytofixative, while histologic specimens are placed in formalin or fresh saline. In the workup of hematologic malignancies, specimens are placed in fresh saline for appropriate processing. Microbiology specimens are placed in sterile preservative-free saline.