COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Daily Updates and ResourcesCOVID Resources

Renal Pathology Services

Renal Pathology Services is open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm; Call Client Services 804-828-PATH (828-7284); 1-800-363-9234

Renal Pathology Services offers expert renal biopsy interpretation and consultation to nephrologists and transplant surgeons. We utilize the most advanced technologies available including light microscopy (LM), electron microscopy (EM), and immunofluorescence (IF).


24 Hour Turnaround &  Same-Day Processing 

A written, preliminary diagnosis based on LM and IF is offered within 24hrs. Same-day processing is offered for transplant biopsies, prepared slides, and selected tissue samples.


Tests Performed

  • LM utilizing H&E, PAS, methenamine silver, Masson trichrome stains, special stains, such as congo red, as indicated
  • IF utilizing a full battery of fluorescein-tagged antisera (IgA, IgM, IgG, C3, C1q, kappa, lambda, fibrinogen)
  • EM on biopsies as appropriate


Specimen Handling 

Client Services 804-828-PATH (828-7284); 1-800-363-9234

! Fresh State

Immediately place the renal tissue core, or open biopsy wedge in a secure container with physiologic saline solution or sterile culture media to prevent drying. Or, alternatively, wrap the specimen in saline-moistened non-stick dressing. Avoid compression and drying of the specimen.


Separation Prior to Transport

If the specimen is divided prior to transportation, the proper fixative solutions for LM, IF, and EM must be available in your institution. A formalin-filled container for LM, Michel's medium for IF, and glutaraldyhyde for EM studies will be supplied upon request. 

When dividing the specimen, each part must contain glomeruli! 

If an open biopsy, or 3 or more tissue cores are obtained: 

  • one portion or core is submitted for IF 
  • one for EM 
  • the remainder for LM

If 2 tissue cores are obtained: 

  • one is submitted for LM 
  • the second is cut into four 1-2mm fragments: two are submitted for EM, and the other two for IF

If one tissue core is obtained and it is small, <8 mm:

  • it should be submitted fresh in saline or in a saline-moistened non-stick dressing 
  • when dividing a small biopsy, note priority order (1 is top priority):
    1. LM
    2. IF
    3. EM

If single core is >8 mm

  1. divide it into two portions and submit one half for LM 
  2. divide the remaining half for IF and EM 


Special Instructions

A surgical pathology Accession Sheet with adequate clinical history, differential diagnosis, and laboratory findings must accompany the specimens for their proper interpretation.

Please contact Client Services 804-828-PATH (828-7284); 1-800-363-9234 for assistance with the Accession Sheet and detailed information about transportation, specimen handling, separation prior to transportation and causes for rejection.

The Anatomic Pathology Receiving area is located at the MCV campus in the Gateway Building, 1200 E. Marshall Street, 6th floor.

Renal Consultative Services

Contact us for a clinical consultation

H. Davis Massey, DDS, MD, PhD [View Image]

H. Davis Massey, DDS, MD, PhD

Chief of Pathology, VA Medical Center

H. Davis Massey, DDS, MD, PhD [View Image]

H. Davis Massey, DDS, MD, PhD

Chief of Pathology, VA Medical Center


Autopsy & Surgical Pathology
Associate Professor of Pathology

Phone: (804) 828-9739

Fax: (804) 828-9749

Email: Hugh.Massey@vcuhealth.org

Read More

View graphic versionView graphic version