RE: Microwave Processing Should Be Banned

From:"Jonathan R. Oppenheimer"

I am sure that microwaving "done properly" works fine. In reality, specimens
are batched in groups and treated like McDonald's handles french fries. A
bad "batch" affects scores of diagnoses.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2001 6:15 AM
Subject: RE: Microwave Processing Should Be Banned

Jonathan raises an interesting point, which I hope will be addressed by
someone with more experience and knowledge than I, about cells being
In Matilda Beyer-Boon's book, called something like 'The Microwave
Cook-book', she makes the point that microwaving done properly decreases the
time takes for all the cross links to take place. However, this can only
occur when the formalin is in contact with the cell. In other words,
microwaving prior to penetration of the fixative, is cooking. After
penetration of the fixative, it is augmentation/speeding up.

Terry L Marshall B.A.(Law), M.B.Ch.B., F.R.C.Path
Consultant Histopathologist
Rotherham General Hospital, Yorkshire

Does microwaving tissue cause damage. Sure does. And it destroys cytologic

The procedure COOKS the chromatin and destroys nuclear detail, destroying
the opportunity to recognize cancer when it is present in small quantities.
I have seen this again and again on specimens sent to me for a second
opinion. Hey, it speeds up turn around time. It ain't worth it. . . . . Just
one pathologist's strongly held opinion.

Jonathan Oppenheimer, MD
OUR Lab, Nashville

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