RE: Re-using Bouins Fixative

From:Tim Webster <>

Hi all,

Regarding re-using fixatives, I asked this question awhile ago with regard
to Hollandes/Glyo-fixx etc, and received several opinions, the most
convincing of which was from Gayle Callis (See below)

Cost is one thing, quality is another.  The big question is when the line
blurs.  When is enough enough, and how do you know?  When is your fixative
exhausted? Does it gradually fade away so you don't notice degradation in
quality?  I don't know!

Gayle Callis wrote:

"NO!  very loud and emphatically!  and there is a danger here.  Fixatives
are chemical reactions and the active ingredient(s) are actually exhausted,
changing the concentration of fixative component(s) with possible poor
fixation of your next biopsy or tissue sample.  I don't think this would be
considered GLP. I would not trust a filtered, reused fixative for my next
important tissue. Also, fixatives are not that expensive and if this is a
way to save money/reagents, making up Hollandes is cheaper than commerical

Remember you are ultimately serving the patient, and if that biopsy is not
fixed correctly from the start, then you could have legal implications.  I
don't think waste should be a concern when you have a patients needs as
first priority.  Why not some prefilled bigger containers for larger
specimens and make sure the volumes are 20 X the size of the tissue."    

At 12:00 PM 2/12/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi everybody,
>We have just changed from using Hollandes to Glyo-fixx for our g.i. bx's.
>I can't find the reference, but we used to filter the hollandes and reuse
>2 Questions:
>1) Does/did anybody else filter and reuse fixatives?
>2) If the answer to #1 is "Yes", can we do the same with the glyo-fixx.
>It seems a terrible waste to use so much fixative for a 0.2x0.2x0.2 bx.
>(Incidentally, we have educated the OR staff, and we pre-fill with as
>excess as possible, but you never know when a large polyp will occupy the
>Thanks all,
>Tim Webster
>Northwestern Medical Center
>Fairfield Street, VT
>(802) 524-1070

-----Original Message-----
From: Mass Histology Service []
Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2001 9:34 PM
To: Otis Lyght
Subject: RE: Re-using Bouins Fixative

That's a great question.  Why throw fixative away after one use?  Why not
filter 10% formalin, Bouin's or whatever and re-use it?  I've re-used
Bouin's before with no problem.  The testicle didn't use up any single
component making the Bouin's useless as a fixative for the next testicle (I


James E. Staruk, HT(ASCP)
Mass Histology Service

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Otis Lyght []
>Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2001 6:58 PM
>To: :
>Subject: Re-using Bouins Fixative
>Hello All,
>Has anyone out there had any experience in re-using Bouins
>fixative? We fix
>rat testes in quite adequate volumes  of Bouins for 24 hr. Normally, the
>Bouins is disposed of. Can the Bouins be used again to fix more testes in
>the same manner?  All help is appreciated. Thank You.
>Otis Lyght

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