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Electron Microscopy & PCD

Electron Microscopy & PCD Service

The EM service is a highly specialised sub-division of Pathology and provides a diagnostic ultrastructural pathology service for both adult and paediatric cases including a national paediatric cilial diskenesia service in addition to a regional and supra-regional service for renal, muscle and nerve.

Within the EM unit the main function is to undertake specialist specimen processing and analysis using a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to evaluate diagnostically significant pathological changes observed in disease tissue at the ultrastructural level, the most significant of which are digitally captured to provide interpretative reports for the consultant pathologists as an aid to effective diagnosis and treatment.

 

Clinical Tests Available

Test Name

Specimen/Container Requirements

Further Information:

Electron Microscopy

Specimens for electron microscopic analysis should ideally be no larger than 1-2 mm3 and placed into a vial of fresh 2% Glutaraldehyde fixative as soon as possible after specimen retrieval.

Blood/Fluid Specimens should be discussed with the EM unit directly. (0141 3549420/ 01413549422).

If specimens are sent through the post they must comply with post office regulations.

EM sampling from a histology wax block must be accompanied by a representative light microscopy slide.

Freshly prepared glutaraldehyde has a 7 day shelf life and must be stored to 4-80c prior to use.

This fixative is available with advance notice from:

Electron Microscopy Unit, Pathology Department, Level 2, Laboratory Medicine and Facilities Management Building, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, 1345 Govan Rd, Glasgow, G51 4TF (0141 354 9487).

All unused Glutaraldehyde should be returned to the EM unit for disposal.

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Primary Cilial Diskenesia Service

Specimens are only accepted in the laboratory if taken from the clinic

Specimens should be placed into M199 media with penicillin-streptomycin added – supplied by the EM laboratory.

Contact: [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] for more info about the service and clinic.


Location

The Electron Microscopy (EM) service is situated on the second floor (L2/B 086-090) of the Laboratory Medicine and Facilities Management Building located at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

 

Laboratory Hours

9:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday (excluding public holidays). There is no out of hours service.

 

Specimen Requirements

Specimens for EM analysis should ideally be no larger than 1-2mm3 and placed into a vial of fresh 2% Glutaraldehyde fixative as soon as possible after specimen retrieval apart from blood/fluid specimens which must be discussed with EM unit directly.

Freshly prepared glutaraldehyde has a seven day shelf life and must be stored between 4-80c prior to use. This fixative is available with advanced notice from the Electron Microscopy Unit, Pathology Department, Level 2, Facilities Management and Laboratory Medicine Building, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, 1345 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 4TF (0141 3549422).

Each specimen must be accompanied by a request form with the minimum of 3 matching patient identifiers.

Due to the small size of the specimen container there is limited space for patient’s details but at least the patients CHI and first and surname must be provided on the specimen container.

Requests for urgent results should be clearly marked on the request form and contact telephone or bleep numbers provided. The consultant pathologist should be notified first by telephone, if an urgent result is required.

 

Transport/Handling

Specimens should be sent for EM analysis in the same manner as routine histopathology specimens.

If specimens are sent through the post they must comply with post office regulations. EM sampling from a histological wax block must be accompanied by a representative light microscopy slide.

All unused Glutaraldehyde should be returned to the EM unit for disposal.

 

Specialist Advice

Further advice, if urgent can be sought from the Speciality Manager, Alison Lupton (0141 354 9420) or the relevant pathologist. For non-urgent enquiries please contact the EM laboratory on 0141 3549422 or email: [email protected].  Please contact the department before sending an unexpected/unusual sample.

 

Results

EM Analysis should normally be available within 5-12 days once the sample has been received by the department for processing. This may change due to service provision. If appropriate any samples marked as urgent will have an accelerated turnaround.

Sample results are affected by a number of factors including delay in fixation, use of inappropriate fixative/old fixative and incorrect sample size (1-2mm3 is recommended; if a sample is too big this can cause sub-optimal fixation, if too small will not give a good representation of morphology).

Last Updated: 22 February 2021