Histopathology Artifacts Quiz



The excision margins of surgical specimens are sometimes marked with colouring agents or dyes to allow appropriate orientation of the specimen and assessment of these margins microscopically. This marking can be done to fresh or fixed tissue with reagents such as India ink, silver nitrate, Alcian blue or Alcian green. The marking agent not only colours the surface of the specimen but also penetrates into the tissue to varying degrees depending upon the nature of the tissue and may be occasionally encountered in unexpected situations. The micrograph shows a low magnification view of the margin of a skin biopsy which has been marked with silver nitrate. This reagent stains the soft tissues and can be seen to have penetrated some distance into the dermis. Intense staining of keratin at the edge of the specimen can also be observed. So the correct answer is marking dye artefact.

© Roy C. Ellis 2004