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Anatomic Pathology

The Anatomic Pathology Department provides a comprehensive array of services available routinely throughout the week. A pathologist is available, or "on call," at all times for operating room consultations (frozen sections) and autopsy notification. Surgical pathology reports are generally available the day following surgery. Weekend biopsy results are available Monday. Reports on specimens received Friday or on the weekend will not be available until Monday afternoon. If an earlier report is needed, please contact the pathologist on weekend call. When special stains or additional work is required the results may be delayed until the conclusive studies are complete.

Most specimens should be submitted in 10% formalin fixative. Exceptions include tissue for frozen section diagnosis and lymph nodes for lymphoma work which must be submitted fresh to the pathologist. Bone marrow biopsies can be submitted in B-5 or Zenker's fixative. Muscle biopsies must be submitted fresh and on the clamp with saline moistened gauze to the pathologist. If microbiological studies are desired in addition to histologic interpretation, unfixed tissue should be submitted in a sterile container accompanied by the appropriate requisitions, and delivered directly to the histology department. Appropriate labeled containers and fixative may be obtained from the Histology Department and will be delivered to clients of Rex Outreach Services upon request, or on a Rex Outreach supply requisition.

If more than one surgical specimen is obtained during a surgical procedure the specimens may be submitted with a single request form. However, each specimen must have the anatomic site identified on the label of the container and on the request form. The attending physician must provide the pathologist with the pertinent clinical data, and preoperative diagnosis (ICD-9 code if known) in order to insure optimal diagnosis and avoidance of delay. Improperly identified or unlabeled specimens will be rejected.

The autopsy suite is located on Level I of the Ancillary Service building. Physicians are invited to attend autopsies and to discuss clinical and autopsy findings with the pathologist. A request for an autopsy can be accomplished by contacting the pathologist "on call" at (919) 784-6000.

Molecular Testing in Anatomic Pathology
In November 2006, Molecular Testing began in the Anatomic Pathology Department using a PCR nucleic acid amplification method. Current testing includes: Neisseria Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing from the Liquid Based Pap Specimen (Surepath). We look forward to future areas of expanded testing for Neisseria Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing from Urine Specimens, HPV low and high risk typing from the Liquid Based Pap Specimen (Surepath), Herpes, Group B Strep, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Cystic Fibrosis, and Coagulation Disorders.