• Construct a systematic plan for all stages of necropsy, including location, and identification of all animals and samples.

Please also consult the section of PREPARE on Health risks, waste disposal and decontamination.

Necropsies should be planned with the same systematic attention to detail as that required by the in vivo study, to avoid bias or loss of material during the procedure or in storage afterwards. An SOP should be followed for all animals, even in the absence of macroscopic lesions. Necropsy findings unrelated to the study but of potential concern to the facility, breeder or supplier should be reported to the relevant parties. All carcasses should be labelled individually, so that they can be identified even after the routine necropsy has been performed, in case it proves necessary to take more samples, or necropsy more animals, than originally intended.

Further reading


Selected textbooks on mouse anatomy and histology (see also the TextBase database, e.g. these favourite products)


Links to more guidance on necropsies are available here.
Links to dissection alternatives

This page was updated on 18 February 2021

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