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cryostat image from New Medical Terms

cryostat for cutting frozen sections for rapid diagnosis


Definition A laboratory instrument that houses a microtome1 maintained at –20ºC to –30ºC, which is used to cut tissues obtained during a surgical procedure2.

1A device that cuts fresh tissues in thin slices for microscopic examination

2Once obtained, the tissues are stained by a rapid–< 2 minute method, and examined by light microscopy by a histopathologist, who provides the surgeon with relevant information–e.g., a diagnosis of cancer in a breast mass, or margin involvement in a basal cell carcinoma, on how to best continue with a procedure, while the patient is on the table  

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