Project Development

The Macroscopic Cut-up Manual is an initiative of the RCPA Specialist Training Project with Commonwealth funding from the Department of Health.

The aim of the manual is to provide pathologists, registrars and non-pathologist staff with an online information resource to support macroscopic dissection in Anatomical Pathology laboratories.

The manual is designed for staff with proficiency in histological techniques to assist with macroscopic cut-up and reporting. Protocols have been written for the wide range of specimens likely to be encountered in diagnostic pathology. General information is provided on the principles of accurate identification, fixation requirements and the application of special studies. While levels of evidence are not always available, references are provided wherever possible and should be consulted for more specific information. Protocols for staff training, specimen reception, tissue processing and microtomy are not within the scope of this manual. Therefore institution-specific procedures are required to complement the information on this website.

Pathologists and scientists with considerable expertise in Anatomical Pathology have contributed to the content of the manual.  A Steering Committee of Fellows of the RCPA has overseen the project (see below) in conjunction with the Structured Pathology Reporting of Cancer Project (SPR). Chairs and Expert Group members of the SPR have been widely consulted in editing the manual. (See contributors)

Feedback is welcome via the contact page.


Dr Simon King

Staff Specialist Anatomical Pathology
Pathology North - Hunter
NSW Health Pathology
Newcastle, NSW 

Ms Margaret Dimech

Senior Project Manager
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
Surry Hills, NSW

Project Steering Committee

A/Prof Paul McKenzie
Prof Jane Dahlstrom
A/Prof David Ellis
Dr Louise Hughes
Dr Debra Graves
Dr Bronwen Ross
Ms Meagan Judge
Ms Vanessa White

Original illustrations

Marcus Cremonese more


Dr Simon King
Dr Han-Seung Yoon 
Prof Priyanthi Kumarasinghe
A/Prof Bastiaan de Boer
A/Prof Fiona Bonar
Prof Tony Thomas
Ms Margaret Dimech


Breast tumour re-excision

Recorded and produced by: Mal Heaps, Audio Advice Pty Ltd more
Script, direction and narration: Dr Louise Hughes

Colorectal tumour and Radical prostatectomy

Recorded and produced by: Geoff Miller, Audio Advice Pty Ltd
at John Hunter Hospital Newcastle, NSW
Written and directed by: Dr Simon King and Ms Margaret Dimech
Demonstrator: Dr Loui Rassam
Narrator: Ms Margaret Dimech

Pancreatoduodenectomy, Breast tumour wide local excision, Ovary and Fallopian Tube, Omentum, Uterus and Thyroid

Recorded and produced by: Geoff Miller, Audio Advice Pty Ltd
at John Hunter Hospital Newcastle, NSW
Written and directed by: Dr Simon King and Margaret Dimech
Demonstrator: Dr Bonnie Scurry
Narrator: Margaret Dimech

Placenta videos

Recorded and produced by: Dr Amanda Charlton at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, NSW
Presenter and narrator: Dr Susan Arbuckle

Placenta block taking video: Recorded, produced and narrated by Dr Amanda Charlton