Schema: Blocks

The Patients, Specimens, Blocks, and Tissue Diagnosis tables all form a one-to-many relationship.

Patients Table  people

The highest level table, this represents an individual patient.  A patient can be uniquely identified by a hospital-name and a history-number, the unique identifier that hospitals assign to patients.

Specimens Table

A Specimen represents the all the tissue and organs that come out of a patient during a Surgery.  It is possible for a patient to have multiple specimens. A specimen can be uniquely identified by a hospital name and a SurgPathNumber, a unique id assigned to all specimens in the hospital's Surgical Pathology department.

A Prostate Specimen

Blocks Table

The blocks table represents tissue that is cut from the specimen and put into paraphin blocks.  A block can be uniquely identfied by a SpecimenID, a part number, and a block designation.  The specimen is divided into several parts.  For example, the seminal vesicles may be one part of a prostate specimen.  Then, for each block in a part, the blocks are given block-designations.  The first block may be called A, the second B, and so on. 

A word on naming: The blocks table represents the donor or regular blocks.  For naming, unless I specify ArrayBlock, I'm talking about a regular block.  Tissue from these regular blocks (this table) are used to create ArrayBlocks, a totally different table.
A Block. A tray with 7 blocks is shown to the left. 

TissueDiagnosis Table  (Sub-Blocks)

A TissueDiagnosis represents a sub-region on a block that is assigned a particular diagnosis (for example, cancer).  The sub-region is in the shape of an irregular cylinder.   A block can yield several TissueDiagnosis's.  For example, a block may have a cancer region, a normal region, and atrophy region.  Each of these would get its own TissueDiagnosis. 

The bottom cube is a block.  The yellow area on the block is a TissueDiagnosis diagnosed as "Tumor".  The slide above isn't technically part of the database--it just aids in finding the tissuediagnosis area on the block.
    *picture from Dr. Mark A. Rubin

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