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The effects on morphology and diagnostic interpretation of delayed processing of refrigerated effusion samples have not been well documented. The potential for cellular degeneration has led many laboratories to reflexively fix samples rather than submit fresh/refrigerated samples for cytologic examination. We sought to determine if effusion specimens are suitable for morphologic, immunocytochemical, and DNA-based molecular studies after prolonged periods of refrigerated storage time. Ten fresh effusion specimens were refrigerated at 4 degrees C; aliquots were processed at specific points in time (days 0, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14). Specimens evaluated included four pleural (3 benign, 1 breast adenocarcinoma) and six peritoneal (2 ovarian adenocarcinomas, 1 malignant melanoma, 2 mesotheliomas, 1 atypical mesothelial) effusions. The morphology of the cytologic preparations from the 10 effusions was preserved and interpretable after 14 days of storage Replica Oakleys Australia at 4 degrees C. The immunocytochemical profile of the samples (AE1/AE3, EMA, calretinin, and LCA) was consistent from day 0 to day 14. Amplifiable DNA was present in all samples tested on day 14. We conclude that cytopathologic interpretation of effusion Oakley Holbrook Sale Australia samples remains reliable with refrigeration at 4 degrees C even if processing is delayed.