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

 

 

 

PROBLEM NUMBER 9

Crooked or uneven ribbons when sectioning

 

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

If the ribbon is straight you will get more sections on a slide, like with tiny biopsies where you may put several sections on the one slide. It is easier for the pathologist to move from section to section down the slide. And although it grieves me to admit it what we are about is pleasing the pathologist!

 

What causes this to happen?

Well it could be that:

  • the edges of the knife and block are not parallel, if the top and bottom are not parallel then your ribbon will bend.

  • or the knife edge is irregularly sharpened and not straight or the knife is not straight in the knife holder.

  • or there may be impurities in the wax causing some dense areas within the matrix of the wax.

  • or there may be varying densities in the tissue

       

 

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© Roy C. Ellis 2002