Re: Calcium lumps in para block

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From:Katri Tuomala <>
To:"P. Emry" <>
Date:Tue, 13 Apr 1999 21:52:48 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii

P. Emry wrote:
> Dear Netters,
> I am cutting decalcified specimens of jaw joint in paraffin blocks.  On
> occasion, I run into what appears to be tiny lumps of calcium that leaves
> holes across the specimen as it is pulled across the knife.  Is there a
> way to deal with this IN the block?
> Thanks for your time.
> Trisha Emry
> U of Washington, Seattle

Hi Trisha,
You could try to "surface" decalcify in 5% nitric acid or other stronger
decalcifying solution. Trim into the block carefully and then put it
face down into a small amount of decal solution in a weigh boat. Check
at intervals of 10-30 minutes, trying to cut a section. Decalcification
will happen only 2-3 sections deep, after that repeat above if needed.

Katri Tuomala
Anatomic Pathology
St.Joseph's Hospital
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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