RE: [Histonet] Re-processing

From:"Tony Henwood"

The following technique from Johnson (2003) Histologic 36(1):21-22 works
very well:

While the tissue is still hot (ie the wax is still molten) blot the
tissue dry, place it back in its cassette and place the cassette in 10%
formalin for reprocessing. I have often had recourse to use this method
and have found it to dramatically improve the results in at least 90% of
cases. The excellent results are probably due to the protective nature
of the wax present in the adequately processed portions of the block.
This insulates the tissue from the harmful effects of ethanol on the
adequately processed portions of the tissue preventing the tissue from
becoming hard and brittle (Johnson 2003).


Tony Henwood JP, MSc, BAppSc, GradDipSysAnalys, CT(ASC)
Laboratory Manager & Senior Scientist
The Children's Hospital at Westmead,
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, 2145, AUSTRALIA.
Tel: 612 9845 3306
Fax: 612 9845 3318

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Celebre
Sent: Friday, 3 February 2006 4:21 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Re-processing 

Calling all processing and reprocessing experts out there....

I'm sure all labs over the years have run into processing troubles
ranging from instrument malfunctions during the night to misplacement of
solutions (usually a water before the xylene), causing pure horror for
the technologist who opens up the retort in the morning.  It's sad to
say that our department is experienced in these situations, and
everytime something happens to the processing it's always difficult to
decide how best to reprocess the sections. 

Each time we've reprocessed our sections (usually due to the
introduction of water before the xylene or paraffin stations) on
shortened absolute alcohol, xylenes and paraffin times, they'v ended up
being extremely hard and brittle, which does not make our pathologist

Is there a way of reprocessing tissue without damaging it? 
Would adding a softener to the alcohols reduce the hardening affects of
reprocessing? How much time can be safely shaved off if the tissues have
already been through a regular program? 

Any help is greatly appreciated,

Julia Celebre MLT
Anatomic Pathology
Hamilton General Hospital
Hamilton, Ontario
905-527-0271  ext 46179

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