Histology FAQ

Staining, Histochemistry and Histotechnology

(Frequently Asked Questions)


Dr. John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada



FAQ Home > Miscellaneous Stuff


Books and articles about artifacts in histology


Can you recommend any books or articles that illustrate and explain artifacts encountered in sections stained for light microscopy?


"An Atlas of Artifacts Encountered in the Preparation of Microscopic Tissue Sections" by Samuel Wesley Thompson and Lee G. Luna. Publisher: Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A. (1978).

There is also a wonderful section on Artifacts (and photographs) in "Histopathologic Methods and Color Atlas of Special Stains and Tissue Artifacts" by Lee G. Luna, 1992, printed by Johnson Printers, Downers Grove, IL.

Marilyn S. Gamble

I agree with the value of Lee Luna's book "Histopathological Methods and Color Atlas of special stains and tissue artifacts," especially the value of the colour photomicrographs.

The most comprehensive paper I have seen is: Wallington EA. "Artifacts in tissue sections" Medical Laboratory Science. 1979;36:1-61 (that's right, sixty one pages!) It is the paper which won the Memorial Prize of our institute - Institute of Biomedical Science. In those days, unfortunately, published photos were in B&W only, but there is plenty of text and explanation. Eric was a real gent, a master of histological technique and perhaps the greatest authority on artifacts. Please don't ask me to send a photocopy!

Russ Allison, Wales

The web site of Roy Ellis has many informative images of artifacts, with quizzes and explanations. Highly recommended! http://home.primus.com.au/royellis

John Kiernan, London, Canada