Diagnostic from a pathology lab: why does it take so long? ⏱️

The #pathology lab plays a key role in the #diagnosis and prognosis of many diseases, but for many people what happens there is a mystery.

Here, we are going to show you the itinerary of a tissue biopsy:

1️⃣ Fixation & Processing.
The sample can’t be used as it is, it has to undergo a number of preparatory steps: fixation to preserve its integrity ( 24-48 hours) and a series of solvents including paraffin wax (12 hours)

2️⃣ Sectioning. The sample is now in a hard paraffin wax block and must be cut in sections of 5 micrometres.
Each section will end up in a glass slide (1 hour)

3️⃣ Labelling. The glass slide can now be labelled with dyes or antibodies. This will highlight specific features of the sample. (From 1 to 12 hours)

4️⃣ Analysis at the #Microscope. The pathologist will examine it for indications of disease.

Thank you to 🇪🇸 Cristina Sala Ripoll, a freelance scientific illustrator who loves to create infographics and colorful images for science outreach and education.
This illustration was created for the Pathology department at the University Medical Center Groningen, with the collaboration of Dr. Wilfred den Dunnen.


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