Small intestine

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Author: Mikael Häggström [notes 1]

Presentations and targets


On this resource, the following formatting is used for comprehensiveness:

  • Minimal depth
  • (Moderate depth)
  • ((Comprehensive))

Gross processing

More specific grossing is available for presentations above. For larger specimens (not biopsies):

  • Read the referral or requisition note if available. (Also look into the operative report, in order to confirm or negate pertinent suspicions or findings, mainly perforation.)
  • Identify segment of intestine if possible.
  • Measure length, average width and any significant variations thereof.
  • (Measure the mesentery.)
  • Inspect the serosa- look for any perforations, adhesions, fistulas and exudate.
  • If perforation is present, try to probe it from the serosal surface
  • Open longitudinally
  • If the specimen is not fixed already, put it in formalin, preferably for a total of 48 hours.[1]
  • Look for for any mucosal lesions. Note any evidence of inflammation, hemorrhage, abscess, perforation or fistula.
  • Note the thickness of the wall.
  • Note any obvious mesenterial lymph nodes. A more comprehensive search for lymph nodes is necessary in cases of Intestine with tumor.
  • Sections to submit for microscopy:
  • 2 sections of any perforation(s), any mucosal lesions, and any obvious lymph nodes.


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.

Main page


  1. Burroughs, S H (2000). "Examination of large intestine resection specimens ". Journal of Clinical Pathology 53 (5): 344–349. doi:10.1136/jcp.53.5.344. ISSN 00219746.