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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: The NC State Veterinary Hospital is seeing only emergency patients until further notice.

Veterinary Hospital Changes Reduce Risk While Continuing Care

Diagnostic Testing Lab
Department of Population Health and Pathobiology


Lab Contact:    919.513.6390  |     919.513.6703

The Histology Laboratory located in the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State University is a full service laboratory specializing in animal tissues. The laboratory occupies 1300 square feet of Lab spaces and an additional 500 feet of archival space. We provide paraffin embedment and microtomy, frozen sectioning, special staining, immunohistochemistry and glycol methacrylate embedment processing for all species of animals. In conjunction with the Anatomic Pathology group, we provide advanced diagnostic services to the CVM teaching hospital, veterinary clinics and support residency training in anatomic pathology.

Microscopic view of dead tissue

Services for Referring Veterinarians

Specimen Submission Guidelines

  1. Containers must be labeled with names of the veterinarian, owner, and animal. If multiple samples are submitted from one animal, each tissue should be submitted in a separate container and labeled appropriately
  2. For margins check on mass excisions, please identify margins with sutures or a tissue ink and specify on submission form locations of each. Special stains if needed are included in the price of the original submission.  If your case can benefit from ancillary immunohistochemistry testing, recommendations are in included in the report.  You may call Histology, 919 513-6390 to authorize the additional testing.
  3. Tissues allowed to fix for 24 hour in appropriate amounts of formalin can be submitted in reduced amounts of fixative, decreasing the size and weight of the container and shipping requirements.

Surgical Pathology Samples

  • Biopsy and masses with surgical margins
  • Liver Pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Dermatopathology
  • Histopathology of formalin fixed necropsy tissues are accepted. Gross necropsies are not performed on referral  cases

Descriptions of Test complexities

Send In Slide Review

Second opinion on a surgical pathology case (not cytology.  Up to 2 H&E slides read for one fee.  Slides from outside reference  laboratory should come directly to the CVM Histology Laboratory.  Does not include special stains and Immunohistochemistry

Biopsies 1-2 sites 

Punch, endoscopic, tru-cut biopsies or lesions less than 2cm in diameter. Up to 2 different anatomic sites.  Examples include:  GI biopsies from multiple areas of intestine, skin punch biopsies from 3 different sites on body, biopsies from different liver lobes, also includes feline and canine enucleation.  Small excisional biopsies nodules less than 2 cm.

Additional Biopsy site

Same type as above
Mass <5 cm
any mass or organ 5 cm or less in diameter. This is a per mass charge.  If it is determined that the number of cassettes are less than expected we may charge additional masses less (as an additional biopsy instead).
Mass > 5 cm
Any mass or organ greater than 5 cm in diameter. This is a per mass charge. If it is determined that the number of cassettes are less than expected we may charge additional masses less as an additional biopsy instead).
Liver pathology
One liver biopsy with special liver panel stains
Send in necropsy tissues
Up to 8 tissues from one animal trimmed and fixed at RDVM. We do not accept fresh tissue or whole animal necropsies

Whole spleen, liver biopsy-  mass> 5 cm, one additional site

Multiple small nodules ( 2cm or less) from one animal-  mass < 5 cm, additional biopsy sites for others

Mammary tumors, mast cell, etc-  per size of mass, if one large chain with multiple masses then charged as up to 2 masses >5 cm

Gall bladder and liver biopsy – Mass<5 cm, one additional site

More than 8 tissues in necropsy –  each tissue charges as an additional biopsy site

Three lesions <2cm, labeled as 3 separate sites, (ie head, foot,back)  charged as Biopsy 1-2 sites and one additional biopsy site

Click Here for Surgical Pathology Submission form


Research Histology

Services Offered

We strongly recommend you call ahead for information regarding the appropriate submission of research samples to the laboratory.  Please fill out the Research Submission Form (downloadable below) and bring two (2) copies along with your histology materials.

  • Research Techniques include:
    • Routine paraffin processing including special stains and immunohistochemistry*Plastic (Glycol Methacrylate) embedment for soft tissues, sectioning and staining at 2 microns
    • Frozen section services including snap freezing of fresh soft tissues, and infiltration and embedment of  fixed and decaled specimens
    • Provides training to graduate students and laboratory personnel in histologic and immunohistochemistry protocols
    • Development of protocols for new antibodies

Research and Teaching Submission Guidelines electronic file

Research Submission Form Electronic File

Research Account Set up Electronic file

Current Research price list   Electronic  file

Development of IHC protocols antibody validations – instructions electronic file


Luke Borst, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Population Health and Pathobiology

Mac Law, DVM, PhD

Population Health and Pathobiology

Keith Linder, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP

Population Health and Pathobiology

Jennifer Luff, VMD, PhD

Population Health and Pathobiology