RE: GI biopsy blues

From:"Weems, Joyce"

Let me say this about recutting later......I discussed this with Ada Feldman
of Anatech several years ago. It would seem that the polymers harden more
with time than with cold, therefore allowing for better sections later. You
don't have to cut slowly for the recuts - just whack them off and most
likely they'll be ok. 

I have found this to be one of the most frustrating of artifacts ever to
deal with!

Another thing I found good was putting the block in the warm water bath for
a few seconds, then cooling and sectioning. The warm water seemed to work
wonders. The slow...... steady turning of the microtome is essential for the
first cuts of these creatures, tho.

My 2 cents! j:>)

Joyce Weems
Pathology Manager
Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta

	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Bryan Hewlett []
	Sent:	Thursday, April 25, 2002 12:56 PM
	Subject:	Re: GI biopsy blues

	We process and cut large numbers of GI biopsies daily in three group
laboratories. Only one lab has a processor dedicated to GI biopsies, the
other labs process along with the routine surgicals. All three sites
sporadically have some days with microchatter(venetian blinding). All sites
use NBF for fixation, all use the same processing reagents, all cool the
blocks on ice trays, no ammonia water.
	This cuttting artifact is independent of processing times, it is
seen more readily after short(less than 4 hours) fixation times in NBF.
After all, the shorter the time in NBF the greater the fixation in
processing alcohols!  But the cause is still operator and workload
	The effect is mainly seen on very busy days with technologists who
are under pressure, either real or imagined, to 'get the work out'. In every
case, when the block has been re-cut and the same operator instructed to cut
SLOWLY, the microchatters have been absent!! 
	I would recommend that when any tech in your lab has a microchatter
episode with a case, carefull, SLOW, re-cuts of the block will solve the
	Bryan R. Hewlett
	Technical Specialist
	Department of Anatomical Pathology
	Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program.
	Ontario, Canada

		----- Original Message ----- 
		Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 5:53 PM
		Subject: GI biopsy blues

		Hi Everyone,
		I am faced with some GI microchatter that has occurred
recently.  This is a sporadic matter but as of this afternoon, I am
currently ensued in a battle with my lab manager over the soaking of blocks
in ammonia water. She thinks everything needs to be soaked, I say it is not
necessary but she is insistent and I want to change her mind. I see no need
to expose myself to ammonia fumes unecessarily. 
		I have one tech that soaks everything in ammonia water and
there is no difference between her slides and the ones I cut that are faced
and placed onto wet ice. I am literally at wits end regarding this subject
and do not want to submit to "ingesting" ammonia water if at all possible.
Are there any articles written on ways to prevent microchatter? One last
thing I should mention is that we process our GI biopsies along with our
other larger samples (breast, colon, thyroid, etc) and everything else comes
out looking great.  I am not at work at the moment and can't remember our
processing schedule right of the top of my head but the solutions we are
using is as follows: formalin x2, 80% ETOH, 95% ETOH x2, ABS x3, xylene and
of course infiltrating with paraffin. I will post the exact scheduling and
temps later as I can't recall those now.  
		Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks in advance,
		Donna Barlow
		Section Head, Raleigh Community Hospital 

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