Autopsy Specimen Collection Recommendations for Pathologic Evaluation of Influenza Virus Infections

Collection of Tissue Specimens

Preferred specimens would be a minimum of 8 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks or formalin-fixed wet tissue specimens.

Samples should be from pulmonary sites in addition to specimens from other organs showing pathology.

The recommended pulmonary sites include:

  • Central (hilar) lung with segmental bronchi, right and left primary bronchi
  • Trachea (proximal and distal)
  • Representative pulmonary parenchyma from the right and left lung

FFPE cell blocks made from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) can also be submitted in select circumstances, but assay sensitivity may be reduced.

For patients with suspected myocarditis, encephalitis, or rhabdomyolysis, specimens should include myocardium (right and left ventricle), central nervous system (cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, pons, medulla, and cerebellum), and skeletal muscle, respectively.

Specimens should be included from any other organ showing significant gross or microscopic pathology.