Biopsy.  Photo from

"Your biopsy submitted to histological analysis, "- a phrase familiar to many of us. What is behind it?

Biopsy— A diagnostic procedure in which of the "suspicious" places, such as tumors, polyps, prolonged unhealed sores come from tiny pieces of tissue (biopsy). Depending on where the biopsy is taken, use different tools. This may be a thick needle, endoscope (when exploring the esophagus or stomach), fiber (bronchoscopy), ordinary scalpel (during surgery).

The main purpose of a biopsy — to establish a benign or malignant process to fight. By this procedure, and recourse when control is carried out for treatment of cancer. Right take biopsy — a special art, requiring a doctor's experience and skill. The accuracy of his choice (in the beginning of its existence, malignant focus is quite tiny) depends on the result of the analysis and, therefore, the choice of treatment.

Obtained by biopsy tissue pieces are sent to a special laboratory, where they performed a histological analysis. It is based on the fact that all cells in the body have a characteristic structure, depending on whether the tissue which they belong. In malignant degeneration of the picture changes dramatically: the internal structure of cells is disturbed, it ceases to be similar to the neighboring ones. These disorders are usually so great that they can be seen in ordinary microscope.

But before treating taken during the biopsy material, it must be treated in a special way: cut into very thin translucent slices (called slices), and paint. To prepare slices, a slice of tissue first braze (e.g., impregnated with paraffin) and then fixing in a special holder, cut with a knife Specialty hyperacute — microtome.

The resulting thin plenochki placed on a small oblong glass and subjected them directly on the painting. Ways of coloring quite a lot, but one thing unites them — they all take place in several stages. Earlier preparations shifted out of the bath in the tub by hand, now all the stages of color are able to hold special devices. But it is, perhaps, the only stage where automation is possible. All the rest is entirely dependent on the skill and attention of specialists.

When stained preparation is under the microscope eyepiece, it takes a pathologist — a doctor is extremely important in medical specialization. Assessing the particular test cells, he returns with his verdict: benign or malignant cloth was taken for a biopsy. Moreover, depending on the type of cancer "breakage" of the cells, is often possible to identify the type, feature, and even prognosis.

When the examination under the light microscope not resorted to immunohistochemical study. In this case, the sections were treated with several (in each case different) antineoplastic sera. If the "orientation" some of which coincides with the nature of the tumor cells in the preparation appear yellowish granules clearly visible under a microscope. Thus, the well proved this method in the diagnosis of melanoma — cancer of the skin, giving easy metastases.

In some cases where it is necessary to understand what changes have occurred in the "internal organs" (organelles) cells to the aid of electron microscopy. The huge increase (up to 100,000 times), which gives the electron microscope has advantages and disadvantages to consider allowing even large molecules, he at the same time is able to keep an eye on a few cells. This is thousands of times increases the importance of how closely the material was taken for analysis (as intime biopsy, and during the manufacture and selection of slices).

According to the magazine "Family Doctor» (N6) in June 2000

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