Re: 2 questions

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From:Tony Henwood <>, Robin Fitzl <>
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Dear Robin,

> 1. Since all the IHC is sent out from this lab and turnaround is an issue. 
> This Dr. would like to know if a melanin stain (Schmorl's?)would be just as 
> good as doing a S-100 or Hmb45 offsite.

Schmorl's will only pick up the pigmented melanomas. Luna's silver 
stain for melanin has better sensitivity but again unless the 
melanoma is pigmented results will be negative. S100 (and to a 
lesser extent HMB45) are really the only stains that are more 
sensitive for melanoma.

> 2. A number of cytology (non-gyn) are showing increased contaminants. 
> eg.-dust,debris. The supervisor feels that the Dr.'s complaint is overblown. 
> Can the slides be completely free of contaminants all the time? Can't 
> collection be an attributing factor?

The dust, and possibly thin filaments of fungi, will often be found 
on glass slides unless they are wiped before use. Older slides, often 
found in collection centres) are worse. Apart from stain precipitate, 
usually haematoxylin, and maybe carbon from the pencil used to label 
the slides, there is little you can do unless you can educate the 

Regards, Tony.
> R. Fitzl HT/PA
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Tony Henwood
Senior Scientist
Anatomical Pathology
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

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