Virchows Archiv

, Volume 468, Issue 1, pp 69–74 | Cite as

Does everything a surgeon takes out have to be seen by a pathologist? A review of the current pathology practice

  • Ivan DamjanovEmail author
  • Semir Vranic
  • Faruk Skenderi
Annual Review Issue


Histopathologic examination of surgically removed tissues and organs is an important aspect of modern hospital quality health care. Most surgical specimens deserve to be submitted for pathologic examination, which may yield valuable new information relevant for the future treatment of the patient. A small number of specimens, recognized as providing limited or no valuable clinical data during pathologic examination, may be placed on the list of specimens “exempt from submission” or those that are labeled as “for gross examination only.” Guidelines written by the committees of the national regulatory organizations provide general orientation on how to deal with various specimens, but the final decision on which type of specimen to eliminate and which ones to include for pathologic examination rests on local governing and advisory bodies of each institution. Particular lists of specimens exempt from pathologic examination are best generated through a consensus agreement of clinical and laboratory physicians. Even though there is general nationwide and even international consensus on which types of specimens deserve pathologic examination and which do not, there are still discussions about the necessity of some pathologic examinations.


Pathology Surgical specimen Gross examination Histopathologic evaluation Exempt from submission 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineThe University of Kansas School of MedicineKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Clinical CenterUniversity of SarajevoSarajevoBosnia and Herzegovina

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