Fast-tracking Histopathology: Is Microwave the Way Forward? EC05-EC08
Dr. Sukumar Santosh Kumar,
Department of Surgery, Base Hospital and ACMS, Delhi Cantt., New Delhi-110010, India.
Introduction: The conventional method of tissue processing involves a long turnaround time. An early diagnosis of tissue biopsies would enable quick decision making and prompt institution of therapy. The use of microwave in tissue processing can reduce the turnaround time of biopsy reports from hours to minutes.
Aim: To compare the quality of tissue processed by a microwave with that of the conventional method.
Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study in which 40 pairs of tissues were studied as test and control groups. Both groups were processed by the microwave and the conventional methods and stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E), special histochemical stains and immunohistochemical stains. Quality of tissues of both groups was compared using statistical analysis.
Results: Use of microwave reduced the time required for tissue processing from 17 hours to 36 minutes. The strength of agreement between the results obtained by the two methods was very good (Kappa coefficient: 0.806). Tissue sections of both groups were optimal for rendering diagnoses. Tissues of both groups showed crisp and specific staining with histochemical stains and immunohistochemical stains.
Conclusion: The study shows that use of microwave significantly reduces processing time for biopsies without compromising either quality or suitability for special stains including immunohistochemistry. This method has tremendous potential in reducing the turnaround time of routine biopsy reports and in intraoperative diagnosis.