[Histonet] Re: Helicobacter stain control

From:"Robert Richmond"

Since gastric biopsy specimens with abundant Helicobacter are rather
common, it's easy to find Helicobacter controls among your own
specimens, and almost every laboratory I've worked in has obtained
controls out of their own material. When I see a case that would make
a good control (not every positive case is suitable) I write a note on
a slip of paper "S08-xxxx good Helicobacter control" and give it to
the responsible histotechnologist.

Fortunately gastrectomy specimens for acute ulcer disease have become
rare, but if you ever get one, you can get enough Helicobacter
controls to last you forever, so be on the lookout for such specimens.

I don't think making controls from bacterial cultures would be very
satisfactory. For one thing, Helicobacter pylori is extremely
difficult to culture.

I frequently see Helicobacter controls that don't contain any bugs,
and histologically don't look like they should contain any (no
neutrophils present). If the dye stain looks satisfactory, I sign it
out, with the words "a suitable control slide" rather than "a positive
control slide" in my microscopic note. I don't do this in labs that do
IHC - there the control has to be positive.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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