RE: Micro-chatters in gastric biopsies

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From:"Bartlett, Jeanine" <>
To:"'Hall, Phil'" <>, "'Histonet'" <>
Date:Fri, 30 Jul 1999 10:47:37 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


I used to work in a hospital where I handled many GI biopsies on a regular
basis. I noticed the times that I had problems had to do with the fixation
and the processing.  If processed in 10% NBF and processed with the
"regular" specimens they frequently were over-hardened and I had severe
chattering.  We switched to a different fixative, it was commercial for GI
biopsies and I cannot remember the name, and had a shortened processing
cycle with no heat anywhere except for the paraffin and it made an extreme
difference.  Here at CDC most of the biopsies come to us already processed
and embedded so if I experience problems I just soak on slushy ice for hours
if necessary.

Good luck!
Jeanine H. Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd., NE  MS/G-32
Atlanta, GA  30333


-----Original Message-----
From: Hall, Phil []
Sent: Friday, July 30, 1999 9:30 AM
To: 'Histonet'
Subject: Micro-chatters in gastric biopsies

Does anyone see microscopic chatters (cracks parallel to the knife edge) in
endoscopy biopsies (approx 0.2cm diameter)?  

We have been seeing these in our paraffin sections of these biopsies so
badly that the Pathologists sometimes complain it makes diagnosis difficult.
We do not seem to have any problems with large tissue blocks or bone.  We
cut sections at 3 microns using a manual rotary microtome with disposable
S35 blades.  
So far we have done the following to try to stop this happening:

changed microtome - including buying a new one
changed blades - including using a different supplier
changed the microtome knife angle
cut them slower and faster
cut them very cold or warm
let them float on the water bath for longer or picked them up straight away

Any other ideas?

Phil Hall
Paediatric Pathology
St Michael's Hospital

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