- Use fresh, non-autolyzed samples for best results. Place in fixative immediately.**
- Include both lesional and normal tissue if possible.
- Most tissues should be cut so that each section is no thicker than ¼ inch (6 mm).
- Brain: Submit either without sectioning or with coronal (divides into front and back) sections at 1-2 inch intervals.
- Spinal cord: Submit either intact (with the dura mater opened) or in segments at least one inch in length.
- Intestines: Submit in segments 1-2 inches in length.
- Lymph nodes: Section once in sagittal plane (divides into left and right halves).
- Large masses: Incise to allow penetration by formalin.
- Submit tissue samples in 10% neutral buffered formalin in non-breakable plastic containers, preferably with a screw on lid. Do not use narrow mouthed containers. Prefilled formalin containers can be ordered from the VMDL (Client Supplies Order Form).
- The ratio of formalin to tissue should be at least 20 parts formalin to 1 part tissue. Multiple tissue types from the same animal can be submitted in the same container as long as this ratio is maintained.
- Fix tissues in formalin for 24-48 hrs. Indicate the date and time samples were put in fixative.
- See Sample Packaging for instructions on shipping formalin-containing samples.
**Fresh tissues, if shipped on ice (not frozen), are acceptable if received at the lab within 24 hours.