RE: [Histonet] changing processor reagents

From:"Hofecker, Jennifer L"

René makes a good point, as always. 
I would like to add one thing, though. We do not process a high number of blocks in our lab; however, we process nearly every day.  We change our cleaning reagents (xylene/alcohol) every 5 runs, no matter how many blocks we've done.  The same amount of reagent is pumped in and out of the retort, independent of block counts.  I feel safer that way.  
If you are using a xylene substitute or in some cases, recycled xylene, you may find increasing the frequency of changing the cleaning reagents alone helps you. You can always check alcohols with a hydrometer. 
Another consideration is the H20 flush, if you have formalin on your processor. Although, the Excelsior is so advanced, maybe it doesn't even need that?  I am leery of letting it go to long. If I have to empty a container to run a flush, I might as well change the reagent.  Call me paranoid, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.  
If you looked at the number of cassettes we processed, we'd change the machine every couple of months!  I am not willing to try that with a patient's biopsy. As long as we are under budget for reagents, we'll go by number of runs. 

Just my couple of cents. A different perspective, if you will.
Good luck!
Have a great weekend.

Jennifer L. Hofecker, HT(ASCP)
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Division of Neuropathology 
Nashville, TN
ph. (615)343-0083
fax. (615)343-7089
NSH Quality Control Committee Chair

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Rene J Buesa
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 4:13 PM
To: Kinsley, David;
Subject: Re: [Histonet] changing processor reagents

Using "runs" as a criteria is not very objective. Use the number of cassettes. I always rotated some reagents/discarded the oldest, every time the TP capacity was reached.
  René J.

"Kinsley, David"  wrote:

I would like to know what criteria people are using to determine when to change or rotate reagents on their tissue processors. Is there a certain # of cassettes processed, or # of processing runs, or other criteria? Do you take into consideration the type of tissue processed? 

We are using a Thermo-Shandon Excelsior, and find that the reagent quality monitor is not a reliable tool for assessing reagent quality and are looking to establish some new guidelines for reagent rotation.

Any advice is appreciated.


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