Tissue Sampling

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Cytology: Cytology is the process of taking cell specimens for analysis. This is usually done after a suspicious site has been identified endoscopically. Note that suspicious sites can be located in the gastrointestinal tract or in the bronchial tree (upper portion of the lungs).

Once the site has been located, the brush catheter is advanced through the scope with the brush remaining inside. Doing so keeps the brush from being contaminated with cells from a location which is not of interest. The brush is then extended out of the catheter and physically brushed back and forth over the site of interest. Cells are removed and remain in the brush. The brush is then retracted into the catheter and the catheter is then withdrawn.

Cells are then either transferred to a slide for examination under a microscope or are transferred to a container of fixative solution to prevent sample deterioration for later analysis.

Transbronchial Needle Biopsy: In the bronchii, suspicious sites are often identified but lie below the level of the surface tissue. Brushing is thus ineffective in obtaining a tissue sample. A transbronchial needle is used to obtain a sample in this case.

The suspicious site is located through the bronchoscope. The needle catheter is advance to the tip of the brochoscope. The needle is then extended. The bronchoscope and needle are together advanced so that the needle penetrates the site. A syringe is used to aspirate (suck in) tissue. The needle can then be retracted and the catheter removed. A sample of tissue is thus available for analysis.

Biopsy: Biopsy is the process of taking tissue samples for subsequent analysis. In endoscopy this most commonly refers to the taking of a tissue sample using a biopsy forceps.

Biopsy can be performed in the gastrointestinal tract and the bronchii. First, a suspicious site is located endoscopically, for example an ulcer in the stomach. Then the biopsy forceps is passed through the endoscope. The jaws of the biopsy forceps are maneuvered so that they can close on the area of interest. The handle of the forceps is operated to close the jaws tightly. The cutting edges of the jaws and mechanical force exerted by the handle remove a tissue sample. The endoscope is then removed with the biopsy forceps in place. The sample is then available for analysis.

*Disclaimer*

The content of this page is intended for educational and informational purposes only.  This information is not for procedural application.  Please consult your physician or healthcare provider for professional consultation in regards to these educational topics.

 

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