Small bowel biopsy

Last updated: Saturday, 27, March, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

Endoscopic, capsule biopsy or resected specimen.

Method

Fresh tissue for: frozen section; molecular genetics; flow cytometry; stereomicroscopy; and disaccharidases. 

Fixed tissue for: light microscopy; immunohistochemistry; and electron microscopy (special fixative).

Application

Investigation of malabsorption; persistent unexplained diarrhoea (eg, coeliac disease, sugar intolerance, giardiasis); inflammatory bowel disease; gastrointestinal tract bleeding; and lymphoma.

Interpretation

Report by pathologist may identify disease process including type of enteropathy, nature of infection, and tumour type, grade and stage. 

See also Disaccharidase - small bowel mucosa.

Reference

Emory TS et al. Atlas of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Endoscopic Biopsies. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and American Registry of Pathology 2000.