The frozen-section autopsy

E. F. McCarthy, F. Gebhardt, B. S. Bhagavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A protocol for the rapid completion of autopsies using frozen sections was studied. The protocol was tested on 50 autopsy subjects, and the results compared with those from the standard autopsy protocol used on the same 50 cases. Cost, speed with which the reports could be completed, teaching value, and accuracy were compared: autopsy completed by frozen sections was superior in all four areas. There were 47 errors, none of which involved major disease processes. All but nine were errors of sampling and could be remedied by the more liberal sampling of tissue and the occasional supplementation with paraffin sections. The frozen-section autopsy protocol can replace the standard autopsy protocol in most cases. The rapid completion of the autopsy invites participation of the clinician and stimulates cooperation that benefits both the clinician and the pathologist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-496
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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