Re: shrinkage

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The topic of shrinkage during fixation and paraffin processing is curiously 
neglected by surgical pathologists. For example, the decision points for 
depth of invasion in melanoma assume fixed and processed tissue, and I have 
never seen anyone mention problems (such measuring a frozen section specimen) 
that might arise from this assumption.

I was told as a resident that one may assume 20% shrinkage, more years ago 
than I'd care to say, except that dinosaur bone requires prolonged 
decalcification. (Speaking of dinosaurs and their kin, one of our pathology 
listserver movie regulars reports that in the recent movie Godzilla 2000, a 
section of the monster's skin is obviously normal ectocervix.)

Earlier in this thread Mike Titford mentioned John R. Baker's Cytological 
Technique: Principles Underlying Routine Methods, 5th ed., Methuen 1966. - 
Baker points out that various fixatives cause greatly different degrees of 
shrinkage or expansion.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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