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The use of fresh tissue diagnosis at the time of neurological surgery varies widely, from units in which the surgeons feel that no microscopic information will alter their handling of the lesion, to a few which employ the service almost routinely. Both represent extreme positions which are hard to justify. The technique requires a fairly sophisticated micnroscopist and it is his availability, probably more than any other consideration, which determines the practice in most neurosurgical units.
Basically, two methods are employed: one applies standard frozen section techniques; the other, taking advantage of the softness of most neuropathological lesions, smears or squashes the fresh tissue into a thin layer. The authors' method is a variation of the latter. Their book is a small, generously illustrated atlas of their experience. It consists of 98 plates on the right-hand pages with the legends centered on the otherwise blank left-hand pages; four introductory