RE: Tissue processing - small biopsies

A few points of interest to me. 
I fail to understand how the presence of these typically triangular defects can cause no problem. The very fact that they are in a foam pad indicates that they are the smallest fragments, so how one can happily discard a significant proportion of the available tissue, which is what you are in effect doing, I know not. However, I don't want to exaggerate the problem. I have been there (we use the damn things too) and know that I can usually live with the artifact, but at the same time, one must recognise it as less than satisfactory.

300 blocks a day - a small lab.?

I suppose for Oz community labs it is, but over here that would be the work of a large  hospital.

I didn't know that (as you imply) there are different thickness' of foam pad. I have used them in many labs, in 3 continents and all have looked the same to me. Do tell us (all right then, me) more.

If your biopsies are fixed before processing, I congratulate you. Must be the only private lab. in Oz to do so. In my experience it was a case of "coming, ready or not". :-)

BTW, I am apprehensive regarding the carry over of reagent in sponges, and indeed, the problem of the reagent fighting through a sponge full of previous reagent to get its job done. I suppose the modern suck and blow machines are helpful in that respect, but .......

Terry L Marshall
Rotherham General Hospital, Yorkshire

Dear Terry, Yes there are a small percentage of biopsies which exhibit
the tiny triangular dents associated with being processed between biopsy
foam pads. Our 4 pathologist's have said that no it is not a problem.
The foam should be soaked in alcohol before poaring the specimen thru.
The foam pad should be designed to be used in tissue processing
cassettes, ie. not to thick. Most of our GE and gyne biopsies are fixed
before putting up. We are a small lab and do up to 30-40 biopsy
cassettes in a morning along with plenty of other tissue types, with up
to 300+ blocks for the day. David.

David Taylor
Laboratory Manager
Drs King & Mower
Adelaide, Australia

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, 2 August 2001 00:19
To: David Taylor Manager;
Subject: RE: Tissue processing - small biopsies

Let's get this straight David. You get no problems with foam artefact
you say. 
Do the pathologists? (You have not denied getting it, just having
problems with it).

Terry L Marshall
Rotherham General Hospital, Yorkshire

I'm with Amos, agar/ gel is a pain. We use black foam biopsy pads and
train staff to embed properly. We have no problems with so called
crushing or foam artifact. David.


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