A review of artifacts in histopathology

J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2018 May-Aug;22(2):279. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_125_15.


Histopathological examination is considered as gold standard procedure for arriving at a final diagnosis of various lesions of the human body. However, it is limited by a number of alterations of normal morphologic and cytological features that occur as a result of presence of artifacts. These artifacts may occur during surgical removal, fixation, tissue processing, embedding and microtomy and staining and mounting procedures. They can even lead to complete uselessness of the tissue. It is therefore essential to identify the commonly occurring artifacts during histopathological interpretations of tissue sections. This article reviews the common artifacts encountered during slide examination alongside the remedial measures which can be undertaken to differentiate between an artifact and tissue constituent.

Keywords: Artifact; diagnosis; histopathology; microtome; tissue specimen.

Publication types

  • Review