RE: [Histonet] Special Stains and Internal Controls

From:"LaFriniere, Mike"

Hi Laurie,

As an inspector myself, I would site a lab with a phase II deficiency if
found that the laboratory failed to run a positive control with at least
each run (could be several slides for one type of stain) for special stains.
It would be important that you and the pathologist know the special stain
worked by following the results of your control, which you are familiar and
confident with. In addition to, each special stain run demonstrating
consistent results using your current and past control material as a guide.
I would like to suggest that you run either one control with each run (could
be several slides for trichrome stain etc.)or place the control on the same
slide as the test tissue thus eliminating additional expense on the
automatic stainers, there are many slides available on the market to have a
control on the same slide as the test tissue. In addition we often find that
we can make a "sausage" control block to use as several different controls
(several pieces of different control tissue in the same block) and make
hundreds of pre made control slides for special stains using one block, this
type of block not only works as a positive control but acts additionally as
a negative control. 

I hope this has helped you dilemma, feel free to call me if I can be of
additional assistance.

Michael LaFriniere PA,HT(ASCP)
Pathology Manager
Memorial Hospital &
Diagnostic Pathology Services
Chattanooga TN 

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurie Colbert [] 
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 6:51 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Special Stains and Internal Controls

We want to stop running control tissue for retic and trichrome stains when
the patient tissue is liver since liver is an internal control for these
stains.  Are there others out there who do this and have you ever had a
problem during an inspection?  I am concerned about question ANP.21400 on
the CAP checklist that says, "Are controls run routinely on all special
stains, with reactivity results documented, and are they verified for
acceptability before reporting results?"

Laurie Colbert
Huntington Hospital
Pasadena, CA

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