Re: What day is this? RE: GI biopsies

From:Cathy Locallo <> (by way of Histonet)


The procedure using the cucumber was actually published in the mid 70's.  If my
memory serves me right, it was published by a researcher from Evanston
Evanston,Il.   We had tried using the procedure when I had worked there.

Cathy Locallo

Cynthia Tily <> (by way of Histonet) on 12/11/2000
08:29:42 PM

cc:    (bcc: Cathy Locallo/USDER/West/Leica)

Subject:  Re: What day is this?  RE: GI biopsies

Works great for corneas,too!
----- Original Message -----
From: Morken, Tim <>
To: 'Histonet' <>
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2000 7:47 AM
Subject: What day is this? RE: GI biopsies

> I had to look at my calender to make sure it's not April!
> Maybe we can have a Best of the Histonet for most unusual procedures. This
> one is number one so far!
> Tim Morken
> Atlanta
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rhonda Rogers []
> Sent: Friday, December 08, 2000 9:37 PM
> To: HistoNet; Carpenter, Judith A.
> Subject: Re: GI biopsies
> Hi Jude,
> For many years (imaybe 15 - 20 years or longer) the laboratory I worked in
> made cucumber pads for the endoscopy suites to use to orient the GI
> biopsies.  I know this may sound strange, but it really works great.
> Improper orientation of the biopsies as we embedded was eliminated.
> Explaining to new endoscopy nurses exactly how the pads were  made or
> requisitioning a dozen cucumbers from the cafeteria or having a tour group
> come through the lab while we were peeling and chopping cucumbers caused
> some very humorous situations over the years.  Usually, while trying to
> very serious and having difficulty holding in the laughter, I answered the
> cafeteria staff's questions with, "Don't ask me what I am going to do with
> 12 cucumbers in the laboratory.  I am very sure that if I told you,  would
> not want to know.  Believe me; we are not making a salad."
> At any rate, the procedure is simple.
> (1)  Peel the cucumber (thinly, being careful not to leave any of the dark
> green skin).  Slice the cucumber in fourths and remove the seeded part in
> the center.
> (2)  Slice the cucumber into sticks (sort of like French fries) and then
> slice into little rectangles.  The object is to create pieces of cucumber
> that measure approximately 6x6x2 cm or a little larger or smaller
> to your needs. (Too thin and they break up;  too thick and they are too
> crowded in the cassette; too small and the biopsy can be too large for the
> pad.)
> (3)  Place the sliced and diced cucumber pads in a container and dehydrate
> in 70% EtOH overnight, then 95% EtOH for the next two overnights, followed
> by two overnights 100% EtOH.  Store in 100%.
> We kept the main supply in the laboratory and gave small cups of "GI
> Pads" to the endoscopy rooms as needed.  The nurses teased each biopsy off
> the biopsy forceps and onto the pad with the mucosa facing up and dropped
> the biopsy on the pad into the fixative.  (We used Hollande's fixative.)
> The pads were slightly dry when the biopsy was placed on it.  The tissue
> rarely, if ever, failed to stick to the pad.  We never noticed artifacts
> caused from the alcohol the pads were stored in.  Once we had a dry tissue
> artifact that was caused by a very slow, nervous nurse, but with a little
> additional training and experience she improved.
> In the lab, the biopsies (remaining stuck to the pads) were counted,
> measured, described, wrapped in biopsy paper, and processed.  When we were
> ready to embed, we gently removed the biopsy from the pad and turned the
> biopsy 90 degrees to embed on edge.  On very rare occasions, the biopsy
> could not be removed from the cucumber, but that was not a problem because
> the pad could be embedded along with the biopsy still on it, if necessary.
> The cucumber cuts like a breeze with no problems and does not interfere
> the biopsy.
> Before using the cucumber pads, we tried various ideas including filter
> paper and some sort of mesh used in surgery (the name was gel-something, I
> don't remember the exact name).  The biopsies were difficult to remove
> both, the gel-something was scratchy to cut, and the filter paper dried
> the biopsy.  The cucumber pads were perfect.
> This may seem time consuming, but it is very easy to do once you get the
> hang of slicing and dicing the pads.  Every three or four months, we would
> cut several thousand of the little pads.  The satisfaction of a properly
> embedded biopsy was well worth the time we spent manufacturing the pads.
> we worked cutting the pads, we always joked about leaving histotechnology
> and going into the cucumber pad business.  We were positive we would end
> as millionaires!
> Do give the cucumbers a try.  I hope you will like them.
> Rhonda
> Institute for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
> Medical College of Georgia
> Augusta, GA
>  ----- Original Message -----
> From: Carpenter, Judith A. <>
> To: 'NSH' <>
> Sent: Friday, December 08, 2000 8:27 AM
> Subject: GI biopsies
> > Hi folks-
> > Can anyone relay to me what their GI (Endoscopy) clinics use  (if they
> > use some medium)
> > to orient their small mucosal biopsies ?
> > If it a commercially produced medium please include the product/company
> > information.
> > Have a warm weekend (avoid Vermont).
> > Thanks-
> > Jude
> > Jude Carpenter,BS, HTL(ASCP)
> > Chief Technologist/Surgical Pathology/Histology/Autopsy
> > FAHC/MCHV Campus
> > 111 Colchester Ave.
> > Burlington,   VT  05401
> > (802)847-5116
> > FAX : (802)847-3509
> >
> >
> >
> >

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