Renal Pathology: General Recommendations for Specimen Handling & Shipping

Specimen Preparation

  1. Three vials needed for each biopsy
    1. Light Microscopy (LM): Sorenson's fixative
    2. Electron Microscopy (EM): 1/2 strength Karnovsky's fixative
    3. Immunofluorescence (IF): Michel's Transport medium

      (Discard any vials with ppt.)
      Label each with name of patient and date of surgery.
      Fill out Pathology Service Request Form.
  2. Immediately after the biopsy is obtained:
    1. Place biopsy cores in each of the three specimen bottles.
    2. If only a single core is obtained, and if IF and/or EM will be essential for establishing the diagnosis, divide in three parts with clean, sharp blade as indicated in the diagram.
    3. If wedge biopsy, cut in 1-2 mm blocks. Handle all pieces carefully. Avoid crushing.
    4. Place pieces in containers, as indicated by diagram, as quickly as possible. Priority should be given to: a) light microscopy, b) immunofluorescence, c) electron microscopy.


  • Deliver as soon as possible.
  • Do not freeze the specimens or ship on dry ice.

Pathology Service Request Forms Required

Details are on our Contact Information page.