Electron Microscopy is a technique involving a microscope that utilizes an electron beam to magnify tissue specimens under vacuum. This involves fixing tissue, embedding the specimen in epoxy polymer, sectioning the tissue at approximately 700 Angstroms, staining with heavy metals, examining the specimens, and recording images representative of the tissue.
Electron Microscopy can be seen as an extension of routine optical diagnostic techniques. Up to 8% of surgical specimens resist classification and Electron Microscopy can assist in classifying a tumor and rendering a final diagnosis.
Specialized ancillary techniques are critical for arriving at a diagnosis in difficult cases where other techniques have not been successful in classifying the tumor type. Electron Microscopy offers the best morphology available in tissue sections and allows for the morphologic/visual evaluation of sub cellular structures that are not visible in routine light microscopy.