Electron microscopy for tumour diagnosis: is it redundant?

Histopathology. 1999 Aug;35(2):99-101. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.1999.0741a.x.


The histopathological diagnosis of tumours has been transformed by immunohistochemistry. Used with experience and judgement, a panel of antibodies or antisera, combined when necessary with antigen retrieval, will enable the accurate typing of most problematic tumours. This has led many histopathologists to question whether the electron microscope has any residual utility for tumour diagnosis; the machines are large, costly to purchase and maintain, and will accept only minute samples of tissue. The following articles by Mierau and by Eyden, both strong advocates, comment on the current and future role of electron microscopy in tumour diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron* / economics
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonography