Re: GI biopsies

From:Ross Stapf

Are you using just ice?  Or are you using ice with a little water.  We use some paper towels with water on top of our ice.  face 20-40 blocks and by the time you are done facing the 1st is ready to cut.  You may need to soak it again between levels, but it usually isn't necessary.

2 warnings:

1 if you cut too slow and don't get to the last faced block fast enough it will draw in water and start to puff out of the block.

2 if you use too little water and the ice is super cold your block will freeze to the paper towel.

I have seen people who cut good sections very fast who cut dry, but it takes a lot of talent and I haven't figured it out.  I'm definately a fan of adding water to the mix.

And if you are using water.  Then all of this was for nothing and I guess I'm all wet.

Ross Stapf
Histology Supervisor
Washington Adventist Hospital

>>> K C  06/05/02 08:40PM >>>
I have currently been doing some routine H&E staining
of GI biopsies on paraffin sections and have recently
come upon a problem.  When cutting different levels,
up to 5 levels, I notice a progressive, what appears
to be, tearing of the tissue.  The first level comes
out perfect and as I go through levels, the "tears"
seem to be worse.  

We have tried different microtomes, different knives,
and also different people cutting, with the same

Also, we have kept the blocks cold until cut.

The funny thing is, you can't pick the day this will
happen.  Some days, the sections are perfect....other
days we get this phenomenon.

Anyone out in Histoland have any ideas?


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