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In this assignment we are going to explore the pathway from patient to diagnosis. As members of the community, we or a member of our family will one day need histology. As a medical laboratory student in histology we need to know all the steps in the process to communicate effectively with patients, doctors, colleagues and pathologists.

Case study

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A 50 year old female attends the doctor with a ulcerating lesion on her back and several moles/lesions on her arms. The doctor refers the patient to a dermatologist. The dermatologist has decided to perform the following biopsies:

1) An excisional biopsy of a ulcerated lesion ?mycobacteria? BCC from the back

2) A punch biopsy of a pigmented lesion from her arm ?Malignant melanoma, ?lentigo maligna


Demonstrate an understanding of the pathway from patient to diagnosis by describing all the steps in the process.

Explain what happens to the biopsies in the dermatologists rooms and how the biopsy presents at the laboratory.

Describe the specimen reception process, cut-up and tissue processing

Describe the embedding orientation and microtomy

Discuss the stains applied to the biopsies (routine, special stains and IHC if applicable) and what may be the results.

Identify possible diagnosis and further testing that the pathologist may ordeBottom of Form

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