Pathology dictionary

Limited for interpretation

What does limited for interpretation mean?

Limited for interpretation means that a complete diagnosis could not be made from the tissue sample provided by your doctor. This can happen when the tissue sample is too small, was damaged during retrieval or processing, or because the cells in the sample were no longer alive at the time the sample was received in the lab. Your pathologist may also use this result when the tissue was placed on the glass slide in a manner that prevents all of the tissue from being examined under the microscope.

This result is typically only used to describe a small tissue sample such as a biopsy or excision.

Limited for interpretation is not a diagnosis

Limited for interpretation does not mean normal and your doctor should not interpret this result as a final diagnosis. If the tissue sample was removed to look for cancer or another serious medical condition, your doctor should consider performing a second procedure to provide the pathologist with more tissue to examine under the microscope.

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