Re: warm water block soak

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From:atbrooks <> (by way of histonet)
Date:Mon, 31 Jan 2000 22:47:14 -0500
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    The warm water does work well. I would caution however, make sure the
is thoroughly removed, and infiltrated with paraffin, and the sections are
thoroughly dried. Soaking the blocks has been linked with the pale nuclei
artifact (aka halo effect).
    During the soaking the tissue swells some from the intake of water. Water +
alcohol + xylene = "a mess". On a microscopic scale it obscures the nucleus. If
there are other explanations for this artifact I am interested to hear them.
    Other soaking tips to try... A warm soapy gauze pad (then rinse off the
of course), works great for finger/toe nail. Also an ammonia solution soak
to work on those terrible blood clots we're often tormented with.
    Generally, I try to avoid doing anything at all to a block. This eliminates
many variables from the end product, especially when trouble shooting. But if
soaking the block is necessary then by all means do so.
Amos Brooks
HT(ASCP) wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>     I'm an old war-horse HT working in a small community hospital doing
> routine histology. I'm just curious if anyone else has used a warm water soak
> for their paraffin blocks (after facing) to improve sectioning. I have found
> this technique very helpful in the sectioning of brittle biopsies and bloody
> specimens. The crushed ice and water soak prior to sectioning allows a few
> good sections after soak, but the warm water soak lets us get several ribbons
>  before we encounter dried out tissue. This has cut down on chatter, time
> spent re-soaking and over-all quality of sections.
> Any feedback?
> Maureen Tomblin HT(ASCP)
> Union Hospital
> Elkton, MD

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