Re: [Histonet] Cell Block preparation

From:"Anthony Reilly"

I have been using the agar method for 30 years.  The best features are
that they are quick and easy to make and when embedding the agar is
clear so any pellet or collection of cells in the agar can be easily
seen and the agar button orientated to get the best capture of cells. 
Also the agar is readily available from the Microbiology dept of our

The cons are that agar buttons will not process on a short cycle if the
specimen is urgent and I would always ensure that the cells are fixed
prior to putting into the agar as the heat of molten agar will affect
fresh cells.  This will affect not only the IHC but the appearance of
the cells in a H&E.


Tony Reilly
Chief Scientist
Anatomical Pathology
QHPS-Prince Charles Hospital
Rode Rd Chermside Q 4032
Ph: 07 3139 4543
Fax: 07 3193 4546

>>> "Houston, Ronald"  05/30/07 6:15 am >>>
Would anyone care to comment on the pros and cons of preparing cell
blocks using the Plamsa/thrombin technique and the Agar method which
more prominent in the European field?


I am particularly interested in the prevalence of background staining
ICC. Does the use of plasma interfere with interpretation of the
staining results? I know there have been reports of extraneous tissue
being found in cell blocks coming from a commercially prepared





Ronnie Houston, MS, HT(ASCP)QIHC

Anatomic Pathology Manager

Columbus Children's Hospital

700 Children's Drive

Columbus, OH 43205



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