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Home > Staff and Recruitment > Staff Resources and Support > Laboratory Medicine > Pathology & Mortuary Services > Advanced Staining (Neuropathology, ICC, Special Stains & Immunofluorescence

Advanced Staining (Neuropathology, ICC, Special Stains & Immunofluorescence

The Advanced Staining section of the laboratory comprises Immunocytochemistry, Immunofluorescence, Neuropathology, Enzyme Histochemistry (Muscle & Nerve biopsies) and Special Stains

Please see the full list of staining techniques and ICC markers that are under our scope of accreditation with UKAS for further details.

The accreditation section on the front page of this web-site details any staining tests/ICC Markers/other techniques that are not currently under our scope of accreditation.

See the sections below and the user manual for specific information on sending neuropathology specimens, muscle biopsies, nerve biopsies or specimens for immunofluorescence.

Neuropathology
Neurosurgical Biopsies for Intra-operative Diagnosis (Smear or Frozen)

The laboratory must be notified of all potential intra-operative investigations, a minimum of 24 hours in advance of surgery via 0141 353 9530 (89530) or by paging 17627.  When initially contacting the lab, the patient name, CHI Number, surgical procedure, location and estimated time of biopsy should be provided so that appropriate medical and laboratory staff cover can be arranged.

Failure to notify the lab of a case in advance of the surgery taking place may lead to delays in obtaining an intra-operative report if pathologist/laboratory staff are unavailable or allocated elsewhere.

Ideally all intra-operative cases should be discussed with a neuropathologist at the appropriate MDT meeting.

Containers

Sterile, screw cap containers should be used and are stored and managed by theatres. Please contact: 0141 354 9530 (89530) if you urgently require additional containers, you will need to send a porter to collect them.

All containers should be clearly labelled with patient name, date of birth, CHI number, ward number and consultant.

If a specimen is small, the specimen can be put on a glass slide within the container. Please do not add any fluid to the container.

HIGH-RISK SPECIMENS MUST CARRY APPROPRIATE DANGER OF INFECTION LABELS AND CLINICAL INFORMATION PROVIDED

Point of delivery

Please contact Neuropathology 0141 354 9530 (89530) to alert us that a fresh specimen is on its way so that we can prepare for its arrival.

The specimen should be brought by the porter to:

Neuropathology, NHSGGC Pathology Department

Level 3, Laboratories & Facilities Management Building

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Glasgow

G51 4TF

It is the clinician’s responsibility to arrange immediate transportation of a specimen to Neuropathology.

The specimen must be handed to a member of Laboratory staff on delivery.

Neurosurgical Biopsy for Paraffin Histology

No prior notification is necessary.

Containers

Sterile, screw cap containers should be used and are stored and managed by theatres. Please contact: 0141 354 9530 (89530) if you urgently require additional containers, you will need to send a porter to collect them.

All containers should be clearly labelled with patient name, date of birth and CHI number.

High-risk cases must carry appropriate hazard labels.

Tissue Fixation

10% formal saline will be supplied by the Pathology Specimen Reception when requested by theatres. Please contact 0141 354 9513 or 0141 354 9514 (89513/89514) when required.

Institute of Neurosciences Theatres 

Please contact the department and organise a porter to bring suitable empty containers to the department.

Royal Hospital for Children Theatres

The neuropathology department will supply containers with 10% formal saline on request. Please contact the department before requesting a porter to come and collect the containers.

The container should be at least twice the volume of the specimen and filled with 10% formal saline.

Accompanying Information

Completed request forms should carry the consultant’s name, ward number, patient’s name, CHI number, address with post-code, date of birth, date of operation and relevant clinical information.

For more technical information/specimen enquiries, please contact Neuropathology on 0141 354 9530 (89530)

Point of Delivery

Neuropathology, NHSGGC Pathology Department

Level 3, Laboratories & Facilities Management Building

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Glasgow

G51 4TF

Muscle & Nerve Biopsies
Muscle Biopsy

Prior notification

Elective cases should be booked with the lab with as much notice as possible. The cases can be booked by contacting the neuropathology laboratory via 0141 354 9530 (89530) or through page 17627 or the appropriate consultant.

If there is a danger of infection, these cases must be discussed with medical staff before biopsy as the range of investigations which may be performed with these specimens is limited.

COVID-19

Muscle biopsies are being processed routinely, however the department should be contacted in advance of sending the sample, if the patient is a known COVID positive patient.

Fresh muscle specimens will only be accepted in Neuropathology between  9.00am until 4:00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

ANY SPECIMEN ARRIVING OUTSIDE THESE HOURS WILL NOT BE PROCESSED APPROPRIATELY

Specimens must be placed in a dry, clean universal container. No saline, gauze or formalin should be in the container. The muscle should be dropped into the container and the lid screwed on. The specimen should be transported immediately to Neuropathology.

If there is to be a delay of any longer than 20 minutes it is advisable that the universal container (not the muscle directly) should be transported on ice (NOT DRY ICE). If transported in this manner, the specimen container should be well insulated to prevent direct contact with the ice and potential damage to the muscle biopsy.

All containers should be clearly labelled with patient name, date of birth, CHI number, ward number and consultant. Universal containers must be placed in a specimen bag accompanied by a request card and muscle biopsy request form. This form also contains detailed handling instructions and our full delivery address.

High-risk cases must carry appropriate hazard labels.

Universal containers must be placed in a specimen bag accompanied by a request card and muscle biopsy request form.

Accompanying Information

A muscle biopsy request form and the completed request form must carry the consultant’s name, ward number, patient name, CHI number, address with post-code, date of birth, date of operation, relevant concise clinical data and the nature of the laboratory request. Muscle Biopsy request forms are linked here or available from the Pathology Lab. Tel. 0141 354 9530 (89530)  

Point of delivery

Contact Neuropathology on 0141 354 9530 (89530) or page 7627 who will advise on delivery of specimen.

Neuropathology, NHSGGC Pathology Department

Level 3, Laboratories & Facilities Management Building

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Glasgow

G51 4TF

Contact: 0141 354 9530 (89530)

Further details for the submission of muscle biopsies can be found on the muscle biopsy request form 

Nerve Biopsy

COVID-19

Fresh nerve biopsy samples are being routinely processed for analysis within the department. However, if the patient is known to be COVID Positive, please can this be indicated clearly on the form so the laboratory will be able to take the appropriate precaution when processing these samples.

Prior notification

Elective cases that require a frozen section should be booked with the lab with as much notice as possible. Any nerves for neuropathology which do not require a frozen section should be sent in formalin.

Nerve biopsies which require frozen section must be booked in advance (more than 24 hours) by calling 0141 354 9530 (89530) or through page 17627 or the appropriate consultant. The cases can be booked by contacting the neuropathology secretaries via 0141 354 9486 (89486) or through page 17627 or the appropriate consultant.

If there is danger of infection, these cases must be discussed with medical staff before biopsy.

A service to receive unfixed nerve specimens can be offered until 4.00pm, Monday – Friday (excluding public holidays). Specimens must be placed in a dry, clean universal container. No saline, gauze or formalin should be in the container. (The nerve should be dropped into the container and the lid screwed on). The specimen should be transported immediately to neuropathology.

Please contact Neuropathology 0141 354 9530 (89530) to alert the team that a fresh specimen is on its way so that they can prepare for its arrival

High-risk cases must carry appropriate hazard labels.

Universal containers must be placed in a specimen bag accompanied by a request form.

All containers should be clearly labelled with patient name, date of birth, CHI number, ward number and consultant. Universal containers must be placed in a specimen bag accompanied by a request card.

Accompanying Information

Completed request forms must carry the consultant’s name, ward number, patient name, CHI number, address with post-code, date of birth, date of operation, relevant concise clinical data and the nature of the laboratory request.

Point of delivery

Neuropathology, NHSGGC Pathology Department

Level 3, Laboratories & Facilities Management Building

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Glasgow

G51 4TF

Contact: 0141 354 9530 (89530)

The specimen must be handed to a member of Laboratory staff on delivery.

Immunofluorescence

The pathology department offers a service for immunofluorescence testing on skin, renal, conjunctival and oral biopsies as well as venous blood.

Venous blood that requires immunofluorescence should be sent to the department in a Vacuette® blood collection tube. Skin, Renal, Oral and Conjunctival Biopsies requiring immunofluorescence should be placed in Michel’s fixative immediately after collection.

Michel’s fixative is capable of preserving fresh tissue for up to 5 days before there is any deterioration in the sample. The request form is checked for the date a sample is taken, to ensure that it has been received within time. Michel’s fixative is available from the pathology department upon request. The fixative should be stored between 2-250c and not be used after it has reached its expiry date.

COVID-19

Fresh samples are being processed routinely for immunofluorescence analysis. However, if the patient is known to be COVID Positive, please can this be indicated clearly on the form so the laboratory will be able to take the appropriate precaution when processing these samples.

Danger of Infection

Specimens that are suspected or are known to contain blood borne viruses (e.g. HIV, Hep B, and Hep C) are classified as Category 2 and can be dealt with using the appropriate safety precautions.

Specimens suspected or known to have Category 3 organisms (e.g. TB, Leprosy, and Anthrax) or Category 4 organisms (e.g. Ebola, Lassa Fever and Haemorrhagic Fever) or CJD are not suitable for analysis via immunofluorescence.

For further information regarding immunofluorescence or danger of infection samples, please contact the Immunocytochemistry Department of the pathology laboratory (0141 354 9518/89518).