Re: Automation of Special Stains

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From:amos brooks <>
To:"Colbert, Laurie" <>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii

    There are days when we run 50+ CK903 (high molecular weight cytokeratin)
slides. AB/PAS slides are often well over 200. A control on each slide is
completely out of the question.
    I also have seen serial sections on a stain and the top section stained
differently than the one on the bottom. This unusual occurrence happens as often
as a separate slide staining differently. Let no one say this is "the only way"
to be sure of the results. Any method can be botched up, hence Murphy's Law of
Amos Brooks

"Colbert, Laurie" wrote:

> Doesn't it get expensive to run one control for every patient slide?  We
> purchase a fair amount of control slides at almost $4.00 a slide.  Also,
> when the controls slides are purchased, we have no control over where the
> tissue is placed on the slide.
> Laurie Colbert
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Johnson, Mickey []
> Sent: Monday, March 20, 2000 9:36 AM
> To: 'Colbert, Laurie'; ''
> Subject: RE: Automation of Special Stains
> Hi Laurie,
> We put our control section on the slide with the patient sections. We
> consistently put these sections at the lable end of the slide and draw a
> line across the coverslip to mark where the patient tissue section(s) start.
> We do the same for IHC stains.  It is the only way to insure that the
> patient slide stained correctly.
> Hope this helps.
> Mickie
> Michael L Johnson, BS, HTL(ASCP)
> Histology Supervisor
> Department of Pathology
> Sacred Heart Medical Center
> W. 101 8th Avenue
> Spokane, WA 99220
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Colbert, Laurie []
> Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2000 11:37 AM
> To: ''
> Subject: RE: Automation of Special Stains
> In the past we used the Leica Autostainer to do some special stains.  This
> worked well, but large amounts of reagent were needed to fill the slide
> buckets on the stainer and the number of stains that could be performed at
> one time was limited.
> We now have two Cytologix stainers in our lab.  One was purchased and one is
> on loan until Cytologix can improve on the turn-around time.  The stains are
> really nice on this stainer, but there are a  few problems with consistency.
> The stainer can accommodate 48 slides at one time, but, as I mentioned
> earlier, the turn-around time is not good when you have multiple stains or
> multiple slides (more that 3 or 4) slides of one stain.  What is really nice
> is that we can run stains overnight and they are ready to hand out first
> thing in the morning.  So this aspect has improved our turn-around time.
> Cytologix is aware of the problems with their stainer, and they are very
> receptive to any issue or problem we have had.  I think this is going to be
> a really great stainer down the line when some of the bugs have been worked
> out.  For now, we will continue work around the problems, and the stainer
> really has saved us several times when we were short on people.  And I have
> to emphasize that their customer service has been good.
> I may be opening a can of worms here, but I have a question in regards to
> automation of stains.  I feel there is no real quality control on the
> stainers that stain one slide at a time (vs. batch staining as on the Leica
> Autostainer).  Sure, your control may be positive, but how do you know the
> patient slide was stained properly when it is stained independent of the
> control slide?  We have had our control slide come out negative, but our
> patient was positive, so who's to say that this couldn't  happen the other
> way around???
> Laurie Colbert
> Saint Joseph Medical Center
> Burbank, CA

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