Sample Collection Instructions

Sample collection kits are available from the lab, if needed. Kits include sample collection tubes, transport media (when required), a biohazard bag with absorbent material, a test requisition, and FedEx shipping materials. Call the lab at 206-598-4488 to request a kit.

Contact the lab

Please call the Cytogenetics and Genomics Laboratory at 206-598-4488 before shipping a specimen. Label all Tubes/Flasks and place in a Biohazard bag. Completely fill out all paperwork.

Incorrect collection, labeling and/or paperwork can delay specimen processing and results.

Amniotic Fluid

  • G-banded Chromosome Analysis or FISH/IFISH: Collect 15-30ml of fluid obtained under sterile conditions into Corning tissue culture tubes or tubes from a Baxter amniocentesis tray kit. Discard the first 1ml of fluid or use for AFP testing.
  • Cytogenomic Microarray Analysis: Collect 15-20ml of amniotic fluid OR send two T-25 flasks that are 80-100% confluent.
    • Bloody or discolored amniotic fluid samples or amniocyte cell pellets with visible blood may be cultured, at the discretion of the laboratory, to reduce the risk of maternal cell contamination.

Retention Time of Specimen: Flasks are kept for two weeks after final report has been issued, and retention can be extended upon request.

Chorionic Villi

  • G-banded Chromosome Analysis or FISH/IFISH: Collect chorionic villi in a sterile flask or tube with sterile tissue culture media (supplied by the lab; Call 206-598-4488).
  • Cytogenomic Microarray Analysis: Send two T-25 flasks that are 80-100% confluent.

Retention Time of Specimen: Flasks are kept for two weeks after final report has been issued, and retention can be extended upon request.

Peripheral Blood

  • G-banded Chromosome Analysis or FISH/IFISH: Collect 10ml for adults or 1-3ml for infants of whole blood in preservative-free sodium heparin (green top vacutainer) OR in a sterile heparinized syringe.
  • Cytogenomic Microarray Analysis: Collect 3-5 ml for adults or 1-2 ml for newborns of whole blood in EDTA (purple top vacutainer).
  • Y-PCR for male infertility: Collect 5ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top vacutainer).

Skin biopsies, Products of conception, Fetal tissue

  • G-banded Chromosome Analysis or FISH/IFISH: For products of conception, send villi when identifiable.  If material is small and unidentifiable, send entire sample.  For fetal tissue, send fascia lata, lung, or kidney when possible. Use separate containers and label with contents. Obtain sample under sterile conditions and place in transport media containing antibiotics (e.g. Alpha-MEM media, RPMI). Transport media can be supplied by the lab; call 206-598-4488 to request.  If transport media is not available, the following media are acceptable alternatives if shipping time will not exceed 24 hours: lactated Ringer's solution, viral transport medium, or sterile saline. DO NOT USE formaldehyde, formalin, alcohol, or 5% dextrose, or tissue culture medium buffered with bicarbonate. 
  • Cytogenomic Microarray Analysis: Collect 30-50mg of tissue in sterile media or two T-25 flasks that are 80-100% confluent.
  • Grow cell culture for sendout testing: Obtain sample under sterile conditions and place in transport media (e.g. Alpha-MEM media, RPMI). Transport media can be supplied by the lab; call 206-598-4488 to request. If transport media is not available, the following media are acceptable alternatives if shipping time will not exceed 24 hours: lactated Ringer's solution, viral transport medium, or sterile saline. DO NOT USE formaldehyde, formalin, alcohol, or 5% dextrose, or tissue culture medium buffered with bicarbonate.

Bone Marrow, Bone Core Biopsy, Lymph Node, or Leukemic Blood

  • G-banded Chromosome Analysis or FISH/IFISH:
    • Bone marrow: Collect up to 5ml in preservative-free sodium heparin (green top vacutainer) OR in a sterile heparinized syringe.
    • Bone core or lymph node: Immediately place in a sterile vial with 3-5ml tissue transport media (supplied by the lab; Call 206-598-4488).
    • Leukemic Blood: Collect 10ml of blood (preferably 10% blasts) in preservative-free sodium heparin (green top vacutainer) OR in a sterile heparinized syringe.
    • Paracentesis ascitic fluid or cerebrospinal fluid: Collect in a sterile vial.
  • Neoplasia Genomic Microarray Analysis: Collect 1-3ml of bone marrow or leukemic blood in an EDTA tube (lavender-top vacutainer preferred) or sodium heparin tube (green-top vacutainer). For bone core and lymph node contact the lab.

Solid Tumors

  • G-banded Chromosome Analysis or FISH/IFISH on fresh tissue: Obtain sample (0.15-2.0cm3) under sterile conditions and place in transport media (supplied by the lab; Call 206-598-4488). Keep refrigerated.
  • IFISH on FFPE (Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded) tumor slides: Provide an unstained slide (4μm thick section) per probe of IFISH and a corresponding H&E stained slide. Do not send specimens that have been exposed to decalcifying agents. Mail slides in a protected mailing container. Keep at room temperature.
  • Neoplasia Genomic Microarray Analysis: Collect fresh specimens or formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues/sections:
    • Fresh Frozen Tumor Tissue: Send 50-150mg (0.15-2.0cm3) fresh tissue snap-frozen and stored at -20°C. Ship on minimum of 10lb of dry ice in an insulated container by overnight courier.
    • FFPE Tumor Slides: Send 10 unstained 5μm FFPE slides containing adequate amounts of tumor with areas of tumor marked. Include a copy of corresponding surgical pathology report. Send at 20-25°C and protect from excessive heat.
    • FFPE Tumor Block: Send FFPE tissue block containing adequate amounts of tumor with areas of tumor marked. Include a copy of corresponding surgical pathology report. Send at 20-25°C and protect from excessive heat.
    • Cultures of Solid Tumor: Collect two T-25 flasks that are 80-100% confluent.

DNA

  • Cytogenomic Microarray Analysis: Send 3-10 micrograms (minimum 1 microgram) at a concentration of 100 nanograms per microliter (or higher), suspended in TE-buffer. Keep at room temperature.

Urine

  • Urovysion IFISH: Collect 40-100ml voided urine or bladder washing in a sterile jar or cup. Keep at 20-25°C or refrigerated.

Saliva