Dental Professionals

Information for Biopsy Contributors

Oral Biopsy Service Forms

Where do I send biopsies?

Please send biopsies in sealed 10% formalin containers with appropriate lesional (anatomic site/clinical appearance/history), patient consent, and patient (billing/insurance) information to the following address:

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
Oral Pathology 
2185 Postle Hall #190
305 W. 12th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210-1267

For your convenience, we offer free biopsy submission kits. These contain formalin bottles, patient information sheets and self-addressed UPS mailing labels so you can send us your case without accruing postage fees. Sending specimens via UPS is the most efficient delivery method and is what we recommend. Direct immunofluorescent (DIF) studies for certain immune-mediated conditions (such as mucous membrane pemphigoid) require additional tissue submission in a special solution (Michel's), which we are also happy to provide upon request.

To request free biopsy kits or containers of Michel's solution, please contact us at oralpathology@osu.edu or (614) 292-6575 and we will send them to you as soon as possible. Please allow a few days for delivery and thank you for allowing us to participate in the care of your patients.

How do I submit cases for histopathologic review and consultation?

We would be happy to review any problematic histopathology slides. We understand that interpretation of oral biopsy samples by general pathologists may be challenging. If your clinical impression is inconsistent with a histopathologic diagnosis rendered at a local hospital, it would be appropriate to request our review of the slides. Either the patient or the submitting surgeon can make such a request of the general pathology laboratory. Please send slides and/or tissue blocks to the following address:

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
Oral Pathology
2185 Postle Hall #190
305 W. 12th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210-1267

How do I refer a patient for clinical evaluation of oral lesions?

Drs. McNamara and Harrington routinely see patients with oral diseases on a referral basis in the Dental Faculty Practice (DFP) at the College of Dentistry. Patients should contact the appointment desk of the DFP at (614) 292-1472.  Prior to the patient's visit, a letter or referral form detailing the nature of the patient's condition is requested.

Freeze Warning for your patient's biopsy specimens

During cold weather, some patient specimens may freeze because the fixative (formalin) in the biopsy kits is 90% water. Below freezing temperatures can create ice crystals within the specimen, and these crystals greatly distort the microscopic appearances of the tissues. This is known as "freeze artifact" and it commonly occurs when specimens are left in mailboxes or postal trucks for an extended period of time.

To avoid freeze artifact, we recommend that you keep the formalin containers with your patient biopsy specimens inside the office to fix overnight. The next morning, add commonly available 70% alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl) to the specimen bottle so that it is 3/4 full before putting it in the mail. Alcohol is not a substitute fixative, but will help serve as an anti-freeze agent. This is especially important when the outside temperatures are forecast to be in the single digits or below zero.