Re: Which microtome for prostates?

Kim Carter asks about microtomes for prostate work.
One of our pathologists is a "prostate man" and we have done many prostate 
whole mounts over the years, most of which have been cut on a 20 year old 
American Optical 820. They look just fine. Most prostates are too large to 
fit in regular cassettes so we use large round stainless steel cassettes we 
purchased from Lipshaw years ago. (Was Lipshaw, then Shandon-Lipshaw, now 
Thermo Shandon. I don't know what they will be called next week). The 
prostates get regular overnight processing. When embedding larger prostates, 
we use a variety of moulds depending on the prostate size, with vulcanite 
blocks placed in the back for the microtome to hold on to. The only limiting 
factor is where the disposable knives are held by the microtome. You have 
about 5 cm to play with.

For really large prostates, we use an old Leitz sliding microtome (aka 
sledge) but we rarely need to use it as most are cut on the AO. Most 
pathologists will not mind looking a large prostate in two parts if you 
explain the technical problems

It has always suprised me that prostates seem to tough when grossing in, but 
seem to process and section well.

Mike Titford
USA Pathology
Mobile AL USA

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