Laboratory Services

Specimen Requirements

Specimens and test request form must be labeled with the patient name and a unique identifier (date of birth, medical record number). Packaging of specimens must comply with DOT, International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the requirements of the courier used (FedEx being the preferred courier for cytogenetic and molecular genetic samples).

Specimens are accepted Monday through Saturday. Please call the Laboratory when shipping specimens for Saturday delivery at (406)444-7532.

Ship specimens to:

Attn: Genetics Laboratory
2755 Colonial Drive
Helena, MT 59601
(406)444-7532

Samples for Cytogenetics

  • Ship all specimens room temperature via FedEx for overnight delivery. If overnight delivery is not possible, keep specimen at room temperature and ship the following day. DO NOT FREEZE.
  • Blood collected in Lithium Heparin or EDTA will not be accepted for chromosome or FISH analysis.
  • Refer to specific test descriptions for additonal specimen requirements

Whole Blood/cord blood

  • For adults, a minimum of 3mL blood collected in sodium heparin (green top tube)
  • For babies and children, a minimum of 1mL blood collected in sodium heparin (green top tube)

Bone Marrow

  • For adults, 1-2mL bone marrow collected in a heparinized syringe and transferred to a sodium heparin (green top tube)

Prenatal Samples

  • Collect 20-25mL amniotic fluid in a sterile syringe and transfer aseptically to sterile transport tubes. Discard first 2mL of fluid aspirated to avoid maternal cell contamination.
  • CVS transport tube available from Genetics Laboratory. Collect 20-30 mg of chorionic villi and transfer to sterile container of transport media. Samples from twin/multiple pregnancies should be placed in spearate transport containers and appropriately labeled.

Fetal Tissue(Products of Conception)

  • If possible, submit placenta as best results are obtained from placental villi. If an autopsy is performed, aseptically obtain a small piece of tissue with subepidermal layers (chest wall, cartilgae, kidney). Place tissue in a sterile container with culture media (such as RPMI), or a balanced salt solution (Hank's). Do not place tissue in formalin.
  • Minimum volume:20-30 mg tissue

Samples for Molecular Genetics

  • Ship all specimens via FedEx for overnight delivery
  • Refer to specific test descriptions for additonal specimen requirements

Whole blood/cord blood

  • For adults, a minimum of 3mL blood collected in EDTA (purple top)
  • For babies and children, a minimum of 1mL blood collected in EDTA (purple top)
  • Blood collected in EDTA is stable for 7 days refrigerated. DO NOT FREEZE
  • Blood collected in ACD (yellow top) is acceptable for molecular testing
  • Ship at room temperature for overnight delivery

Cultured prenatal samples

  • 2-T25 confluent flasks of cultured amniocytes or chorionic villi
  • Maternal cell contamination is recommended for CVS samples; refer to whole blood requirements for maternal sample
  • Ship at room temperature for overnight delivery

Direct prenatal sample

  • please call the laboratory at (406)444-7532 before sending

Cultured tissue samples

  • 2-T25 confluent flasks of cultured cells
  • Ship at room temperature for overnight delivery

Tissue Samples

  • Please call the laboratory at (406)444-7532 before sending
  • Send frozen tissue on dry ice for overnight delivery
  • Send fresh tissue on ice packs for overnight delivery
  • We do not accept formalin fixed tissue samples

Extracted DNA

  • A minimum of 10ng of DNA in TE
  • Ship at room temperature for overnight delivery

Specimen Requirements Lab Services