RE: [Histonet] Black pigment on Bronch Lavages

From:"Mark Hayes"



Do you have access to an electron microscope?  If so does it have an EDAX (if my memory serves me correctly) attachment or can you send it to one.   I used one of these many years ago (circa 1982) at Sydney University to identify and semiquantitate some unique gold chloride crystals.   EDAX or EDX stands for energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX).  If you can isolate your specs onto an EM target you should at least be able to get an elemental analysis.   Titanium oxide is also a component of paint and is utterly inert – I think it needs HF to dissolve it.  Hope this helps.


Cheers MarkH





-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Thursday, 30 October 2003 7:30 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Black pigment on Bronch Lavages


One of our pathologists and myself have been trying to identify some black intracellular pigmentation in a bronch lavage.  We have ruled out carbon, and bleaching the section did not work, therefore is not melanin.  It is a very fine dark black pigment and appears quite uniform in shape and size.  Our pathologist is thinking that it is lead (the patient is a long time professional painter), but lead stains are negative.  My other thought is aluminum deposits but have not yet stained for this.


I am hoping someone on the "Net"  may have some idea of what this may be, and if there is a method for demonstrating it.


Thanks very much in advance!


Kathy Johnston

Tech II - Special Stains

Anatomic Pathology - FMC

Calgary Laboratory Services

1403-29 Street NW

Calgary AB, Canada T2N 2T9


403-290-4093 fax

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