Re: GI biopsy blues

From:Melissa Jensen

I face off all my blocks and put them in crushed ice with a little water.Our cold plate is not in the same room as the microtomes.I have had the problem you are dealing with..Heres a plain and simple suggestion.Face off block..put back in ice water..Waite a min..Cut and get a nice section..go in to the block a little more take a ribbon.If it looks thicker than your first section..put your thumb or brush in the water bath..apply to tissue and then but it back in the ice water for about 30 sec..then get your next ribbon..repeat as needed..until you get a nice thin section.The reason you have because you tissue isn't hydrated enough...but the warming and the ice will take care of it..Ammonia water wont make a difference..Just the water...Good
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 4:53 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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