Table 1

Summary of the recommended retention policies for different material within the pathology laboratories proposed by national and international pathology colleges/societies and national/local governance authority

AuthorityFFPE blocksHistological slidesGynaecological cytology slidesNon-gynaecological cytology slidesWSI
CAP (USA)31 10y10y5y10y10y
RCPath (UK)32 30y*15y†10y10y8y
SIAPEC/MoH (IT)9 10y10y10y10y10y
Lombardy Region governance (IT)33 50y50y10y50y‡30y§
  • *If no facilities, 10 years, retaining most relevant blocks permanently.

  • †If from children, until they reach the age of 25.

  • ‡If representing the only pathological sample available, otherwise 5 years.

  • §From the elimination of the corresponding glass slide.

  • FFPE, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded; WSI, whole slide images; y, years; CAP, College of American Pathologists; RCPath, The Royal College of Pathologists; SIAPEC, Società Italiana di Anatomia Patologica e Citologia Diagnositca; Ministry of Health.