Re: sectioning of metal stents

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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On Mon, 11 Jan 1999, Vinnie Della Speranza wrote:

> I would be interested in learning of any labs who are set up to
> section blood vessels containing metal stents and whether they
> would be willing to accept a project of about thirty blocks.
> please respond off list to avoid inconveniencing others. thanks
> ******************************************************************


  This reply is "off list." However, one of Linda Margraf's Principles
  is to urge HistoNet users to reply to everyone, not just to the
  individual asker of a question.  Answers are generally more
  valuable than questions, and are likely to interest more people
  than just the original enquirer.

  The subject of sectioning metal-containing specimens comes up
  quite frequently, and there are subscribers to the listserver
  who have done this. (I'm not one, by the way.) You can be sure
  there are many more who have not but would like to know how to.

  My gut feeling is that such sections might be wanted (a) for
  research into the detailed contacts of metal, artery, atheroma
  and thrombus; or (b) because some law or regulation says that
  a surgeon's (or radiologist's, or cardiologist's?) unsuccesful
  cases must be examined by a pathologist, and quite right too.
  For scenario (b) a careful dissection of the specimen by the
  pathologist (with photographs and collection of specimens that
  don't contain metal and can be conventionally prepared for
  histology) should surely satisfy the average coroner. In a
  place that has the equipment, high resolution NMRI pictures
  of the specimen might also be informative, but that's more in
  the realm of research than routine.

  If you're in the Research category, you can probably anticipate
  substantial expenditure on repairing and replacing the expensive
  types of knife needed for LM (D-profile carborundum steel) or
  EM (diamond) needed for cutting metal. You may also need to
  work on avoiding the well known artifacts that result from
  sectioning an object containing closely apposed hard and soft
  things - such as a bit of calcified material in an artery. The
  hardest possible embedding medium is what you need. Earlier
  HistoNet replies indicated that this can be done, but not easily.

  I hope you collect some really helpful on-list advice to
  contradict my off-list pessimism!

 John A. Kiernan,
 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
 The University of Western Ontario,
 LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

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