The Division of Frozen Section Pathology performs frozen sections/intraoperative consultations, and collects tissue for special studies and research such as electron microscopy, flow cytometry, cytologic smears with rapid staining, and cytogenetics. The division also assists tissue procurement personnel in identification and collection of tissue for research purposes. The members of this division are all well trained in general surgical pathology and have a special interest in frozen section pathology. The members of this division include Dr. Gary Barnett and Dr. Lawrence De Renne (Director) with further staffing from Drs. Stephen Moore, Jeffrey Kneile, and Tisha Farrell. Because frozen section interpretations often cross subspecialty lines, a general surgical pathologist is well-adapted for this service. The subspecialists are readily available for second opinions if necessary.
Frozen Section pathology is a specialized area of anatomic pathology that requires an expertise in general pathology and an awareness of common diagnostic pitfalls and tumor mimics. We foster the educational mission of the department by helping to train residents, pathology assistants, and technicians, as well as medical students in the performance and interpretation of frozen sections. Both Drs. Barnett and De Renne are involved in helping obtain tissue for research purposes and are involved in various tissue banking initiatives.
We have adopted the use of liquid nitrogen to more quickly freeze our specimens to shorten the turn-around time for frozen section performance. We hope this will decrease certain nuclear artifacts that may be produced by the slower freezing methods. Our quality assurance program continues to monitor our turn-around-times and diagnostic accuracy for this high risk, high frequency, and challenging activity.