Biopsy and cytology

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This chapter explains the relative merits of cytological and biopsy samples, and describes their collection. Sample processing is discussed in depth, covering routine cytology and histopathology, special histochemical stains, electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, molecular analysis and biopsy sample interpretation. The chapter closes with a note on future possibilities in this area.

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6.1 Sections from (a) endoscopic and (b) full-thickness biopsy samples of small intestine showing the relative levels of tissue sampled by these procedures. The endoscopic samples do not include tissue beneath the level of the mucosa. (Haematoxylin and eosin stain.)
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6.2 Sections from (a) a needle core and (b) a wedge biopsy sample of liver showing the relative amount of tissue sampled by these procedures. The wedge biopsy sample includes many more complete hepatic units for assessment. (Haematoxylin and eosin stain.)
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6.3 Sections of liver stained by (a) Perls’ Prussian blue for haemosiderin and (b) rubeanic acid for copper, to investigate the nature of the cytoplasmic, brown, granular pigment observed within hepatocytes on a routine haematoxylin and eosin stain.
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6.4 Section of small intestinal villus from a dog with alimentary lymphoma. (a) The haematoxylin and eosin-stained section shows replacement of normal mucosal structure by a diffuse sheet of neoplastic round cells with mitotic activity. (b) These are identified as T lymphocytes by immunohistochemical expression of CD3.
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6.6 Sections of endoscopic biopsy samples demonstrating common artefacts seen with this procedure. (a) Crush artefact with loss of discernible tissue and cellular structure. (b) Cross-sections of isolated villi when tissue is not oriented in a perpendicular fashion. (c) Fragmentation of a small intestinal tissue biopsy. (Haematoxylin and eosin stain.)
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