92 Michalakopoulou street, Ilissia, Athens, 115 28

+30 210 7470422 | +30 210 7470244

Rules of Operation

Rules for Handling and Shipping of Samples

Scientific Responsible Doctors:

  • Goutas Nikolaos, Anatomy Pathology Physician, Associate Professor of Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

  • Vlachodimitropoulos Dimitris, Anatomy Pathology Physician, Associate Professor of Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The Lab is manned with highly experienced medical, scientific and administrative personnel, that have an increased sense of scientific duty for providing reliable examination services. The entire Lab personnel follows all the rules of Ethics  and codes of Conduct which govern the operation of the Laboratory. In this context special care is taken to ensure the security of the data held in the Lab  (in either printed or digital form) so as to ensure the protection of patients' sensitive personal data.

The Lab provides instructions to the clinical doctors regarding the handling of the samples until they are shipped to the Lab and also regarding the inquiry of the case with the use of special techniques.

The Lab uses a Quality Management System with the  ISO 15189 certification and therefore it very important for us to receive feedback from you about the quality of the services we provide, complaints or comments you may have. For the submission of complaints and/or comments you can fill out the E.160-1 form, Complaint Report or  send your message using our digital form that you find at the Contact page of our website.

> Tests Performed - Services Offered

ISTOMEDICA performs:

* Frozen section biopsies
* Histological examination with routine H&H stain
* Special histochemical stains
* Immunohistochemical stains
* Molecular biology techniques
* Cytopathology tests

In any case that further testing is required (special histochemical stains, immunohistochemistry, molecular biology techniques) our medical personnel informs the physician who sent the sample before those tests are performed.

Sample Retrieval

  • The Clinical doctor is responsible for the retrieval of the sample

  • Sharp objects used for retrieving samples must under no circumstances be sent to the Lab

  • Samples must be placed in special containers immediately after their retrieval (containers) which must have a larger size than the sample itself and contain adequate volume of formalin solution (neutral buffered 10%), enough that the sample is completely submerged inside the container and be kept in room temperature until their transportation to the Lab. No cutting or splicing of the sample must be made  during its placing inside the container.

CAUTION: Tissue for frozen section must always be submitted immediately to the laboratory fresh with no fixative.

> Rules of Shipping and Handling of Samples

ISTOMEDICA Anatomic Pathology Laboratory is required to apply procedures and practices to ensure the quality of the services provided for the safety of the patients (quality assurance) and the personnel of the Lab.
For this reason the rules below must be followed:

  • Packing and Shipping of Samples

The transfer of samples to the Laboratory ought to be performed in compliance with the requirements specified by the Regulatory Guidelines of the Ministry of Health  regarding the «Shipping of Diagnostic Samples».


  1. The container boxes must be shut tight, in order to avoid even the slightest leak of fluid and formalin.

  2. The  box must be sealed inside a waterproof bag in order to avoid leakage and then be placed in appropriate external container with the marking UN 3373.

The shipping of samples to the Lab can be performed by specialized Istomedica personnel after specific request by the clinical physician.

  • Sample Labelling – Referal Fill Out

  1. The sample received should bare label including the following:

  • Full Name of patient

  • Name of Hospital / Doctor

  • Type of Sample

CAUTION: The Labelling sticker should be attached  to the body of the container. Do not stick the label on the cup of the container!

  2. The sample received, should be accompanied with a referral document.

If such a document is missing, the sample will not be accepted.

The referral document should clearly include:

  • patient's full name

  • patient's AMKA

  • his/her age

  • the sample which is to be tested

  • the requested examination(s) to perform

  • the procedure date

  • the clinical data

  • the Physician's full name and signature

   3. All the above should be written either in the special form of the Lab (Ε.510-1, Examination Referral), or in the special form used by the Physician or Clinic.

   4. Samples rated urgent should bare a special label "Urgent" over the corresponding referral and wherever else the Lab's medical personnel advises.

  • Samples will not be accepted that:

  • are accompanied with referrals with missing information

  • do not include satisfactory markings

  • are not accompanied with their respective referrals

  • have not been preserved with the correct conditions (invalid container, wrong use of formalin solution)

not in accordance with the articles above.

The samples are received in the Lab's premises by qualified personnel. They are sorted, they receive a protocol number and then they are prepared for analysis.

> Results Retrieval Time

  • Frozen Biopsies : 20’ – 30’ from the moment the sample is received in the Lab.

  • Histologic Examinations : 4 – 5 business days

  • Cytologic Examinations : 2 business days

  • Molecular Biology: 7 business days

In case special examinations are requested to be performed to the sample the retrieval time mentioned above takes an additional 2-3 days.

> Results Submission

The submission of the results is performed at the Lab's Secretary Office. A Government I.D. will be asked.

Results can be sent to the Physician who requested them or to the patient (by mail, fax, or email), if this was stated in the referral which was delivered in the Lab with the corresponding container with the sample.

For the  frozen biopsies, the Physician requesting the examination is informed right after the retrieval of the result by phone by the Lab's personnel.

In no other case results are submitted by phone.

> Τήρηση Αρχείου

> Record Keeping

The sample is stored at the Lab for about 1 month. Keeping the sample for a greater period than that is done only by specific request from the Physician (as stated in the corresponding referral).

Paraffin blocks and microscope slides are kept on record by the Laboratory for 10 years.