D I V I S I O N  O F  N E U R O P A T H O L O G Y

U n i v e r s i t y  o f  P i t t s b u r g h  S c h o o l  o f  M e d i c i n e

D e p a r t m e n t  o f  P a t h o l o g y


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The following is a guide to the standard procedures of Neuropathology. Special cases are described at the end.

Brains will be allowed to fix for at least 7 days prior to cutting. You will be assigned brains for cutting the Thursday preceding brain cutting. They will be weighed, examined and cut on Monday mornings before meeting with the attending Neuropathologist. In cases with interesting or relevant external anatomy, they will be cut at the time of meeting with the attending. Gross autopsy findings should be reviewed prior to brain cutting. CT scans and other aids will augment presentation of the cases.

Brains with no anticipated abnormalities where the cause of death has been established at autopsy may be donated for teaching purposes. Donated brains will receive a detailed description of the external gross appearance only.

All other brains will be examined by sectioning and gross diagnosis and a detailed (gross) description of the macroscopic findings dictated that day, along with the cassette summary. After review with the attending, cassettes will be submitted on blocks of defined areas including lesions as well as areas relevant to the history and general autopsy findings.

Consultation with the Neuropathology text prior to brain cutting will indicate pertinent areas to examine. Photographs will be taken as necessary. The resident should review microscopic findings the Thursday after brain cutting. The slides should be reviewed with the attending at the Friday 9:00 signout. Special stains may be suggested by the attending. The final report should be dictated and corrected before being submitted to the attending who examined the microscopic findings.