With the advent of molecular subclassification of diseases, much consideration should be given to the proper processing of cardiovascular surgical pathology specimens to maximize patient care. Such specimens include endomyocardial biopsies, cardiac myectomy specimens, cardiac apical core segments, resected cardiac valves, pericardial biopsies, resected segments of aorta, cardiac tumors, vascular stents, vascular grafts, cardiac devices, resected veins, arterial biopsies including temporal artery biopsies and hearts removed during cardiac transplantation. In this report, the Standards and Definitions Committee of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology and the Association for European Cardiovascular Pathology present consensus guidelines for the gross description, sectioning, processing, and staining of these specimens. This report is presented to aid pathologists, pathology assistants, and clinicians in maximizing the diagnostic utility of cardiovascular surgical pathology specimens for enhanced patient care.
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