Cite this page: Frozen sections. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/breastmalignantfrozensections.html. Accessed April 24th, 2017.
Uses by Pathologists
- Historically used for primary diagnosis, not anymore (Pathologica 2011;103:325)
- Now used to evaluate margins at lumpectomy and reduce need for subsequent surgery (Ann Surg Oncol 2007;14:2953, J Am Coll Surg 2005;201:194, Scand J Surg 2009;98:34)
- Diagnosis of noncore specimens, although limitations include artifacts, sampling or interpretation errors, and in situ carcinoma only; recommended to use FNA, core biopsy or imaging as preoperative diagnostic tools (Tumori 1999;85:15)
- Frozen sections for ultrasound guided core needle biopsies may reduce patient stress waiting for paraffin results (BMC Cancer 2009;9:341)
- Questions to ask prior to frozen section or intraoperative assessment (if any answer is no, do not do frozen section):
- Is tumor > 1.0 cm?
- Will there be adequate essential diagnostic material after frozen section?
- Will additional material be sent after a biopsy is evaluated?
- Will diagnosis have immediate and relevant impact on operative management of patient?
- Note: some specimens may not be diagnostic at frozen section, including adenosquamous carcinoma low grade (Histopathology 2006;49:603)