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Are levels on cervical specimens necessary?
  1. W Salman,
  2. A Al-Dawoud,
  3. Z Twaij,
  4. A Howat
  1. Department of Histopathology, Burnley General Hospital, Burnley, UK
  1. Walid Salman, Department of Histopathology, Burnley General Hospital, Burnley, East Lancashire Hospitals, Casterton Avenue, Lancashire BB10 2PQ, UK; walidsalman{at}

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Examination of small biopsies at three levels (40 μm distance between one and the subsequent level) is widely accepted as a good practice in surgical pathology. This is based on the belief that the first level is superficial and may not be representative of the entire specimen. This practice has been adopted in many departments of histopathology in the UK in examining cervical specimens including loop diathermy excisions and cone biopsies. The implication of this practice is threefold: consultant time examining specimens at several levels instead of one, biomedical scientist time and cost of consumables. The important question …

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  • Competing interests: None.