Re: B5 Fixative

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Lori Karnes in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan asks about using Surgipath's I.B.F. 
fixative as a substitute for B-5 fixative. 

My information may be outdated, but in 1992 Surgipath described this fixative 
as "an alcohol based tissue fixative that contains barium chloride and a very 
low percentage of formalin." The barium chloride, which is (they claimed) not 
a hazardous waste problem, was supposed to substitute for the mercury in B-5.

>>I would also like to know if a comparison was done on these specimens.<< 
This is something you have to do in your own laboratory. Fresh tonsil tissue 
is easily obtained in most hospitals (unless this bit of ethnosurgery has 
mercifully been consigned, like circumcision, to the dustbin of Canadian 
history!) - you must fix pieces of it in neutral buffered formalin, B-5, and 
IBF, cut good sections, and see if your pathologists can tell the difference 
(first with, then without knowing which fixative is which).

I had a very brief experience with I.B.F. and was unimpressed, but as I recall
 that lab couldn't cut a readable section with ANY fixative. (It's usually 
labs like that that go gaga over new fixatives.)

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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