These guidelines were reviewed and approved by the CAP Executive, November 2005. The guidelines have been developed to encourage good practice and should be considered as minimum requirements. The guidelines are not intended to meet legislative requirements and laboratories should ensure that they comply with all municipal, provincial and federal regulations, including statutes of limitations.
 

SURGICAL PATHOLOGY  MINIMUM PERIODS OF RETENTION
 Wet tissue 4 weeks after final report
 Frozen tissue (e.g. renal biopsies) Up to 20 years
 Paraffin blocks 20 years
 Slides 20 years
 Surgical Consultation Indefinitely
 Paper Requisition 2 years
   
PEDIATRIC PATHOLOGY  
 Wet tissue  4 weeks after final report
Paraffin blocks*  20 years
 Slides   20 years
 Surgical Consultation  Indefinitely
 Paper Requisition  2 years
   
CYTOLOGY
(gyne/non gyne)
 
Slides (negative-unsatisfactory)  5 years
Slides (suspicious-positive) 20 years
Fine-needle aspiration slides 20 years
Cytology
Consultation/Requisition
Indefinitely
Male fertility slides 1 year
Paper requisition 2 years
Cytology paraffin blocks 20 years
   
AUTOPSY RECORDS  
Wet tissue 3 months after final report
Paraffin blocks 10 years
Slides 10 years
Hospital Autopsy Records Indefinitely
Coroner/Medical Examiner as per general autopsy, or by Autopsy  Records discretion of the Coroner's/Medical Office/forensic pathologist
   
EM Material  
Blocks, Slides/Grids/Phots (print/electronically digital image files) 20 years

* For special pediatric cases (i.e. Children’s Hospitals) 50 years is the recommended minimum retention period for paraffin blocks.