Brain biopsy

Last updated: Wednesday, 15, August, 2007

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Item Process
Specimen

Steriotactic aspiration needle biopsy or biopsy from open craniotomy. 

Laboratory staff should be consulted before the biopsy procedure.

Method

Fresh tissue:   for microbiology, frozen section, molecular studies. 

Fixed tissue: for light microscopy, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy (special fixative);  for infective, metabolic and degenerative and diffuse conditions adequate tissue should be taken to permit electron microscopy and biochemical studies.

Application

Frozen section for intra-operative diagnosis of malignancy and for assessment of adequacy of submitted specimen. 

Diagnosis of infectious, degenerative, vascular and metabolic diseases and investigation of epilepsy.

Interpretation

The report by the pathologist will include lesion type and, if malignant, tumour grade.

Infective lesions may require immunoperoxidase, in situ hybridisation or histochemical staining for confirmation.

Diagnostic interpretation of tissue sample by light microscopy and special techniques by pathologists.

See Oligodendroglioma - FISH testing

Reference

Lewitt PA et al. In: Goetz CG ed. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 2nd ed. Saunders 2003.