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Macro–microscopic evaluation of pathology specimens with large format histology. For the benefit of ‘our service users and patients
  1. Alessia Cimadamore1,
  2. Liang Cheng2,
  3. Antonio Lopez-Beltran3,
  4. Carmine Franzese4,
  5. Eamonn T Rogers5,
  6. Rodolfo Montironi6
  1. 1Pathological Anatomy, University of Udine, Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
  2. 2Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  3. 3Pathology and Surgery, Universidad de Cordoba Facultad de Medicina y Enfermeria, Cordoba, Spain
  4. 4Urology Unit, University of Udine, Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
  5. 5Urology, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
  6. 6Molecular Medicine and Cell Therapy Foundation, Università Politecnica delle Marche Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Corinaldo, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rodolfo Montironi, Molecular Medicine and Cell Therapy Foundation, Università Politecnica delle Marche Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Corinaldo, Italy; rodolfo.montironi51{at}

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We read with interest the recent publication by Dr M. Varma et al entitled ‘Macroscopic examination of pathology specimens: a critical reappraisal’.1 According to them, ‘Macroscopic examination of specimens and tissue sampling are critical steps on the road to an accurate histopathology report’. Topics around macroscopic examination of some common urological specimens are reviewed in a separate paper by Drs M. Varma and J. Dormer.2 In the same issue of the journal, Dr N. A. Sheperd ‘highlighted the importance of not divorcing the clinical data and the macroscopic analysis from the microscopic assessment as all are required to provide an accurate and cogent overall composition’.3

A way of communicating with clinicians and patients

The reasons for our great interest in the papers are that their contents give full support to our approach for the macro–microscopic evaluation of pathology specimens with the whole mount technique, including their complete sampling. Details of the macro–microscopic examination of specimens and their sampling procedure were given in a previous publication.4 The focus here is on radical prostatectomy specimens, as an example of our approach (figure 1).5

Figure 1

Complete sampling with the whole mount technique. Prostate specimen after slicing (A) and corresponding histological slides (B). Note that the body of the prostate is sampled with four slices and slides. Reproduced with permission from Histopathology. 2011;595:1006–1010. SV, seminal vesicle.

Its adoption in the routine has the advantage of displaying …

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  • Handling editor Murali Varma.

  • Contributors RM and ETR conceived the study. AC and RM wrote the manuscript. AL-B, LC, CF provided expert revision. All authors reviewed and contributed to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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