Am J Clin Pathol 2014 Nov;142(5):629-33
From the Laboratory Medicine Program, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada;
Objectives: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded unstained archived diagnostic tissue sections are frequently exchanged between clinical laboratories for immunohistochemical staining. The manner in which such sections are prepared represents a type of preanalytical variable that must be taken into account given the growing importance of immunohistochemical assays, especially predictive and prognostic tests, in personalized medicine.
Methods: Recommendations were derived from review of the literature and expert consensus of the Canadian Association of Pathologists-Association canadienne des pathologists National Standards Committee for High Complexity Testing/Immunohistochemistry.
Results: Relevant considerations include the type of glass slide on which to mount the unstained sections; the thickness of the tissue sections; the time from slide preparation to testing; the environment, particularly the temperature at which the unstained sections will be maintained prior to testing; the inclusion of on-slide positive control tissue where possible; and whether patient identifier(s) should be included on slide labels.
Conclusions: Clear communication between requesting and releasing laboratories will facilitate the proper preparation of unstained sections and also ensure that applicable privacy considerations are addressed.