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Rectal biopsy for Hirschsprung's disease
Test Synonyms:
Rectal biopsy for Hirschsprungs disease
Anatomic Pathology
Inpatient Req:
Pathology (#10016)  
Outpatient Req:
Pathology (#10016)  
Result Time:
3 days for routine studies  
Reference Interval:
Important Information:
One of several forms of biopsies may be submitted for the diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease and related disorders: (1) mucosal suction or deep mucosal, (2) seromuscular or (3) full-thickness. Ideally, biopsies must be obtained at 1, 2, and 3 cm above the anorectal junction (dentate line), and placed in individual containers labeled accordingly. Fresh specimens must be placed on saline-moistened gauze (or a similar support) and hand-delivered to the frozen section laboratory for immediate processing. In addition to relevant clinical data, the pathology requisition form must clearly and visibly indicate "r/o HIRSCHSPRUNG'S DISEASE." If biopsies are obtained after hours or on a weekend/holiday, please contact the pathology resident on-call ahead of time to avoid tissue degradation and delays.

SPECIMEN ADEQUACY: Superficial mucosal biopsies and formalin-fixed specimens are inadequate for a definitive diagnosis and may result in the need for re-biopsy.

NEUROTRANSMITTER STUDIES: The primary clinical responsibility of the pathology department is to rule out or establish a diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease. If neurotransmitter studies are requested, the tissue needed for these studies must be above and beyond what is judged by the pathology department to be necessary for a diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease. Alternatively, the physician may submit a separate biopsy directly for neurotransmitter studies, in which case the tissue will not be processed by the pathology department for Hirschsprung's disease.

Last Reviewed on 4/10/2005