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Pathology Labs Don’t Have Money to Spare

Running a pathology lab comes with many obligations and stresses, and neither Dr. Rima Tinawi-Aljundi nor Dr. Cynthia Westermann were particularly looking for new lab technologies. But their uropathology colleague Dr. Kirk Wojno mentioned that he used and liked Lumea’s BxChip®. So, Dr. Tinawi-Aljundi decided to see for herself if it could actually save time and costs while improving quality.

When the results were even better than she expected, Dr. Tinawi-Aljundi shared her experience with her good friend, Dr. Westermann, who then decided to try it in her lab.

Trialing the BxChip for Prostate Biopsies

BxChips are tissue-mimetic structures that can safely hold up to 6 biopsy cores in a single cassette/block. Special markings in the chip act as clear guides of which core is which, either manually or with specialized software. Not only does this directly impact the utilization of materials and tech time, but it also keeps the cores straighter (in a single plane) and reduces fragmentation, resulting in better tissue yield on the slide.

When asked how the trial went, Dr. Westermann said she was dubious at first and didn’t expect to like it. “We brought it in just to try it because we had so many prostate biopsies. Most of my histotechs went kicking and screaming to the microtome because they didn’t want to switch, but now they would never go back. They would never go back. I don’t like being wrong, but I was wrong.”

Dr. Tinawi-Aljundi said her techs “love it, and they don’t want to do anything other than this.”

There is a learning curve, but after practice on fake cases and some trial and error, the histotechs now say they’d never want to work at a lab that doesn’t use the BxChip.

Results for Prostate Biopsies

  • 5-10% increase in prostate cancer detection
  • 83% reduction in stain costs
  • 83% reduction in storage space for slides and blocks

Both labs were also able to reduce nearly 40 histotech hours per week, which is very helpful given the nationwide shortage and has enabled those histotechs to use that time for other lab pursuits or to go part-time.

About the Pathologists

Rima Tinawi-Aljundi is the Director of the Pathology Department at the Michigan Institute of Urology (MIU). Dr. Tinawi-Aljundi completed her pathology residency and surgical pathology fellowship at St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan.

Cynthia Westermann is an anatomic and clinical pathologist and the Director of Pathology at The Urology Group in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Westermann received her pathology training at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Download the full case study now: Pathologist BxChip Case Study

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