Problems and Solutions in Histological Technique

 

Problems in Histopathological Technique

 

Prepared by

ROY ELLIS

IMVS Division of Pathology

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Woodville Road, Woodville, South Australia 5011

Email: roy.ellis@imvs.sa.gov.au

 

 

 

DID YOU KNOW 8?

Did you know that tissues which are placed directly into 100% ethyl alcohol from a fixative undergo considerably more shrinkage and distortion than tissues which progress through a series of diluter alcohols such as 70%, 80% and 90%?

 

WHY?

 

This is a result of the great differences in specific gravity and surface tension between the liquid and tissue. If 70% alcohol is used first there is far less volatility in the reaction between fluid and tissue components as the 30% water contained in the solution moderates the interchange of fluids. Going directly into absolute alcohol causes quite a violent reaction between the fluid and tissue components as water is removed from cells quite rapidly. The tissue never fully recovers losing about one third of its volume.

 

 

 

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© Roy C. Ellis 2002