Jump To

    Endometrial curettings and biopsies


    A range of fragmented endometrial specimens are received in the laboratory; diagnostic curettings and biopsies, products of conception from simple incomplete or complete abortions and post-partum retained products.1,2

    This protocol includes endometrial curettings and biopsies. A separate protocol is provided for products of conception.

    Record the patient identifying information and any clinical information supplied together with the specimen description as designated on the container. See overview page for more detail on identification principles.

    • No
      • Non-routine fixation (not formalin), describe.
    • Yes
      • Special studies required, describe.
      • Ensure samples are taken prior to fixation.

    Large specimens should be strained through a sieve to ensure all tissue is collected.

    See general information for more detail on specimen handling procedures.

    Inspect the specimen and dictate a macroscopic description.

    External Inspection

    Describe the following features of the specimen:


    Describe as stated by the clinician.

    • Endometrial curettings
    • Endometrial biopsy
    • Pipelle
    • Other, specify

    Specimen volume1

    • Measure aggregate size in three dimensions (mm)

    Biopsy with minimal fragments and/or polyp

    • Number of pieces submitted
    • Maximum dimension (mm) each fragment
    • If intact polyp(s) are present, measure each in three dimensions (mm)

    Specimen description, if relevant

    • Colour
    • Texture


    Dissection in not required in most circumstances. Large polyps may be bisected longitudinally if required.

    Internal Inspection

    Not required.


    Submit all tissue, transferring directly into cassettes for processing. Lens paper, biopsy pads or similar are required to prevent loss of tissue during processing.

    Check the pot carefully, particularly the lid and around the rim so that all fragments of tissue are found.

    Be aware that blood clot and mucus may not survive processing.

    Very small specimens may be more successfully processed by centrifugation and cell block preparation.

    Record details of each cassette.

    An illustrated block key similar to the one provided may be useful.

    Block allocation key

    Cassette id
    No. of pieces
    Endometrial curettings


    Drs Kerryn Ireland-Jenkin and Marsali Newman for their contribution in reviewing and editing this protocol.


    1. Brown L, Andrew A, Hirschowitz L and Millan D. Tissue pathways for gynaecological pathology, The Royal College of Pathologists, London, 2008.
    2. Heatley MK. Dissection and reporting of the organs of the female genital tract. J Clin Pathol 2008;61(3):241-257.

    Jump To

      Curettings 1

      Endometrial curettings

      Curettings 2

      Endometrial curettings for processing

      Page last updated:

      Copyright © 2022 RCPA. All rights reserved.