Dahl Chase Folders

Microsatellite Instability (MSI)

Reference Number: AA-00313

Microsatellite Instability (MSI) Analysis


Clinical Significance:

Recently established guidelines from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), College of American Pathologists (CAP), Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and/or the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCP) recommend microsatellite Instability (MSI) testing for all newly diagnosed patients with colon cancer.

MSI-H tumors are reflexed to MMR IHC testing and BRAF V600 mutation, as this mutation only rarely occurs in Lynch syndrome, its presence helps to identify sporadic (non-germline) MSI-H.


Specimen Requirements and Collection:

Formalin fixed tissue containing a sufficient amount of tumor (generally at least several mm of tumor tissue submitted in the tissue block).  The MSI assay utilized by our laboratory will detect mutations as long as they constitute at least 10% of the DNA sample mix.



DNA extraction, PCR, and capillary electrophoresis



Molecular Pathology requisition form



Send formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue and cell block containing tumor at room temperature.  Also acceptable 10-unstained, 4-5 micron slides with 1 post H&E.  Please include a surgical pathology report


Unacceptable specimen:

Specimens fixed in alternative fixatives or metal fixatives (ex. B-plus).  Decalcified specimens. 


Reference Range:

Microsatellite Stable (MSS) = none of the 5 microsatellite markers unstable

High Microsatellite instability (MSI-H) = >/= 2 of 5 microsatellite markers unstable

Low Microsatellite instability (MSI-L) = 1 of 5 microsatellite markers unstable


CPT codes:

88381, 81210, 81301, G0452


Test reported:

Results are reported within 7-10 days