Fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) analysis is now widely employed in the diagnosis and risk stratification of a wide range of malignant diseases. While this technique is used successfully with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) sections from numerous tissue types, FISH analysis of FFPE tissue sections from trephine biopsy specimens has been less widely reported, possibly due to technical limitations relating to the decalcification protocols employed. During the last 4 years FISH analysis has been carried out successfully in 42 out of 55 (76%) consecutive trephine biopsy specimens received as part of the standard diagnostic service at our institution. Samples decalcified using EDTA-based protocols were analysed successfully in 31/31 cases (100%), whereas only 11/24 samples (46%) decalcified using formic acid-based protocols were successful. In our experience, FISH analysis of trephine biopsy specimens is a highly reproducible technique and a very useful adjunctive tool in the diagnostic armoury; however, its use in a standard diagnostic setting relies on the use of EDTA-based decalcification protocols.
- Bone Marrow Trephines