Clinics and Departments

Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:

Anatomic Pathology

Test Name:


General Information

Lab Order Codes:

Pathology order form(s) must be filled out and submitted with the specimen.


Biopsy, Nerve

CPT Codes:

Varies bases on specimen submitted and physician request:

88300 – Level I, Surgical pathology, gross examination only
88305–90 – Level IV, Surgical pathology, gross and microscopic examination
88313–90 – Special Stains, Group II
88348–90 – Electron microscopy, diagnostic
88362–90 – Nerve teasing preparations

Test Includes:

A battery of histochemical stains and electron microscopy (EM) when indicated.


Test Indications:

Useful for evaluating neuropathy.

Lab Testing Sections:

Anatomic Pathology - Sendouts

Referred to:

Hennepin County Medical Center
Neuromuscular Laboratory: 612-873-2175

Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-6280

STP Lab: 651-220-6550

Test Availability:

Monday - Friday

Turnaround Time:

14 days

Special Instructions:

Specimen must be received by 3 PM on the day of the procedure. Please notify Histology/Pathology Laboratory 24 hours prior to specimen collection.

A biopsy of the sural nerve from the distal third of the leg or near the ankle leaves no significant defect. Some numbness along the outer aspect of the foot following the biopsy is possible, but tolerable, in most patients.


Specimen Type:



Saline-moistened gauze and plastic specimen container with 3% glutaraldehyde

Draw Volume:

2 nerves up to 1 cm in length

Processed Volume:

Same as Draw Volume


Biopsy may be performed under local or general anesthesia. If using local anesthetic, do not directly infiltrate the area to be biopsied. Avoid the use of forceps. To avoid any injury of the specimen it should be handled very carefully. Any squeezing of the nerve may cause damage and produce artifacts. Send one piece of nerve in saline-moistened gauze. Recommended size: up to 1 cm in length. Send a second piece of nerve in room temperature 3% glutaraldehyde fixative, labeling the proximal end of the nerve.

Special Processing:

See Collection

Patient Preparation:

Physician preference

Sample Rejection:

Improperly collected specimen


Reference Range:

Interpretive report

Critical Values:





EM and staining techniques


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