In a retrospective study of the records of 160 necropsies it was found that, according to the clinical and gross necropsy findings, no clinically important abnormality would have been anticipated in 46% of the tissue samples. The estimated annual cost of processing this material alone was pounds 10,500, including the salary of one full time medical laboratory scientific officer (MLSO). Few of the microscopic findings led to a change in diagnosis. It is suggested that unselected postmortem histology is, for diagnostic purposes, not cost effective.
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