RE: processing fetal brains

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From:Pam Marcum <>
To:"Molinari, Betsy" <>, Sharon Allen <>, histonet <>
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There was an old procedure for processing fetal brain in animals which did
require hanging in a gauze bag and using a 70% alcoholic formalin with 2%
Glacial Acetic Acid.  It sounds strange but the alcoholic formalin caused
shrinkage and the Gl Ac Ac caused swelling, this balance left you with
better tissue in the end.  The fetal brain has so much water that when you
remove it you really can shrink the brain and cause artifacts. Formalin
alone can cause shrinkage also.  Pam Marcum

-----Original Message-----
From: Molinari, Betsy []
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2000 12:25 PM
To: Sharon Allen; histonet
Subject: RE: processing fetal brains

Hi Sharon,
 We do alot of brains too, but mostly bovine,canine and porcine. We use
10% NBF and suspend them in the container using gauze, like a cradle so
that the brain doesn't sit on the bottom of the container. Be sure the
container is large enough to accomodate the brain and enough formalin
for proper fixation. We usually use at least 10x the volume tissue to
fixative.  We usually let the brain fix 7-10 days before grossing. Hope
this helps.
 Betsy Molinari

> ----------
> From: 	Sharon Allen[]
> Sent: 	Friday, March 17, 2000 2:58 PM
> To: 	''
> Subject: 	processing fetal brains
> Hi,
> Does anyone have a fixative recipe for processing fetal brains, that
> will
> firm up the tissue.  We process approx. 75 to 100 fetal brains a year
> and
> find them very soft making them difficult to gross and cut. Now we are
> using
> the standard Normal Buffered Formalin.
> Thanks
> Sharon Allen
> Neuropathology Section
> Health Science Centre
> Winnipeg, Manitoba
> Canada

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