IMVS Division of Pathology
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Woodville Road, Woodville, South Australia 5011
PROBLEM NUMBER 5
Finding a minute biopsy after processing
Sometimes very tiny pieces of tissue can get lost because they appear invisible after processing particularly if a whitish biopsy is wrapped in white filter paper, gauze or lens paper.
One solution is that when a specimen is received in the laboratory immediately fix in 50 mls of 50% ethyl alcohol to which has been added 3 to 5 ml of 0.4% aqueous eosin. Fix for 30 minutes. Place tissue into a lens or filter paper for normal automatic or hand processing.
Then when you come to embed it is easy to see a small red blob against a white background and eosin doesn’t interfere with subsequent staining.
Eosin can also be added to formalin solutions.
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© Roy C. Ellis 2002