Prostate needle biopsy processing: a survey of laboratory practice across Europe (J Clin Pathol., 2013)

Varma M, Berney DM, Algaba F, Camparo P, Compérat E, Griffiths DF, Kristiansen G, Lopez-Beltran A, Montironi R, Egevad L


AIM: To determine the degree of variation in the handling of prostate needle biopsies (PBNx) in laboratories across Europe.

METHODS: A web based survey was emailed to members of the European Network of Uropathology and the British Association of Urological Pathologists.

RESULTS: Responses were received from 241 laboratories in 15 countries. PNBx were generally taken by urologists (93.8%) or radiologists (23.7%) but in 8.7% were also taken by non-medical personnel such as radiographers, nurses or biomedical assistants. Of the responding laboratories, 40.8% received cores in separate containers, 42.3% processed one core/block, 54.2% examined three levels/block, 49.4% examined one H&E section/level and 56.1% retained spare sections for potential immunohistochemistry. Of the laboratories, 40.9% retained unstained spares for over a year while 36.2% discarded spares within 1 month of reporting. Only two (0.8%) respondents routinely performed immunohistochemistry on all PNBx. There were differences in laboratory practice between the UK and the rest of Europe (RE). Procurement of PNBx by non-medical personnel was more common in the UK. RE laboratories more commonly received each core in a separate container, processed one core/block, examined fewer levels/block and examined more H&E sections/level. RE laboratories also retained spares for potential immunohistochemistry less often and for shorter periods. Use of p63 as the sole basal cell marker was more common in RE.

CONCLUSIONS: There are marked differences in procurement, handling and processing of PnBx in laboratories across Europe. This data can help the development of best practice guidelines. 

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