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Author: Mikael Häggström [note 1]


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

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

Gross processing

Gross pathology of a hypertrophic tonsil.

First look at the requisition form ((and in the medical records)) for the following suspicions:

  • Suspected infection: Confirm that a sample has been taken for microbiology. If not, take a sample from within the specimen when you gross it.
  • Possible lymphoma: Make a touch prep and take sample(s) for flow cytometry. If you have bilateral tonsils, and they look grossly similar, you may combine a small sample of each tonsil into one container for flow cytometry.
  • Suspected tumor: Ink the external surfaces before sectioning. Otherwise inking is not needed. Further information: Tumor

Inspect the tonsils for any significant gross focal changes. A representative section of the grossly most abnormal part from each tonsil is generally enough.

Example gross report
((A. Labeled - ___. The specimen is received in formalin and consists of)) one rubbery, ovoid, pink-tan tonsil(s) measuring ____. The mucosal surfaces are unremarkable. On sectioning, the tissue is tan-white and homogenous, with no gross lesions. (Representative sections are submitted for microscopic examination in __ cassettes.)


  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.

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