Name: Iron, Liver, Tissue
Test Name: Iron, Liver, Tissue
Health Link Test Code: HCFELIVR
LIS Test Code: FELIVR
Testing Site: Testing will be sent to an approved reference laboratory
Call the UWHC Hospital Laboratory at (608) 263-7060 to obtain Mayo metal-free specimen vials (blue label, not sterile). Obtain biopsy tissue and place in the Mayo metal-free vial. Two specimens are always obtained when a liver iron determination is ordered. One specimen is for liver iron determination. This specimen can also be used for a liver copper determination, if needed. The second specimen is for the morphology determination (for container and handling, see laboratory test directory, test name: Histopathology).
The following procedure for specimen handling should be followed precisely as it is intended to control trace metal contamination and maintain specimen quality for the liver iron determination.
A minimum of 2 mg of liver tissue is required for the iron determination. This is typically a piece of tissue from a 14-gauge needle biopsy at least 0.5 cm long. If an 18 gauge needle is used, the tissue must be at least 1 cm in length. Expel each tissue from the biopsy needle directly into the appropriate specimen vial. The vials are not sterile so when the biopsy needle touches the vial, it should no longer be considered sterile.
1. To avoid trace metal contamination, biopsy tissue for the liver iron determination is placed directly into a clean empty Mayo vial. The tissue should not touch any other surface.
2. A stainless steel forceps or scalpel can be used to assist the transfer of the sample from the needle, if needed.
The patient's age is required on the request form to calculate the iron index.
Alternate Container (not recommended): Any specimen vial other than a Mayo metal-free vial should be all plastic, rinsed with Type 1 (18 mega ohm resistance) deionized water and dried with clean air.
The paraffin embedded tissue is usually an acceptable second choice for the liver iron determination unless the block is processed with a stain. However, the 18-gauge needle produces a specimen that is thin and fragile and difficult to remove from paraffin. Also, a paraffin block can be acceptable if not more than 1 or 2 cuts have been made to it for slides. If sent, the paraffin blocks will be returned from Mayo to the UWHC Surgical Pathology Lab two weeks after the analysis is complete unless requested earlier.
Transport along with a request form to UWHC Hospital Laboratory immediately. Transport with a coolant pack if coming from an outreach location. Ship refrigerated to referral laboratory.
This test is for quantitative iron only. A second specimen should be collected for tissue staining in UWHC Surgical Pathology.