Re: Mercury poisoning tissue stain?

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Back-scattered imaging is not element-specific. It just returns a stronger
signal from heavier (higher atomic-number) elements because they're bigger
and so "reflect" more primary beam electrons.

Since Hg is much heavier than most of the atoms in tissues, you can expect
a brighter signal, but you can't claim that this signal is from Hg without
other supporting evidence (e.g. x-ray or chemical).

Futher, back-scattered imaging also has less (or much less) spatial
resolution than normal secondary-electron imaging, so it may not be
adequate if you need to state that the Hg "is in these cells, but not those

>>Has anyone been able to demonstrate tissue deposition in acute, possibly
>>chronic mercury poisoning cases? Does anyone have a good tissue stain for
>>mercury deposits, our pathologist would like to demonstrate deposition if it
>>can be stained? Kidney? Liver? Brain?  Are there any tissues in anyone's
>>"banks" that has demonstrated positive mercury staining so I could validate
>>any finding on this unfortunate case?  Thanks.
>what about back-scattered electron imgaging? We do this as element
>analysis to show the content of Ca,
>Fluor in bone. I' ll ask my REM technician on monday if it is possible
>with mercury too.
>                                Dr. Alexander Nader
>                                   Rossauer Laende 35a/32
>                                     A-1090 WIEN

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Philip Oshel
Technical Editor, Microscopy Today
PO Box 620068
Middleton, WI  53562
(608) 833-2885

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