[Histonet] GMS Precipitant

Lee & Peggy Wenk lpwenk <@t> mail.netquest.com
Tue Aug 19 03:59:52 CDT 2003

Any chance you got in a new batch of silver nitrate about 6 months ago?

This has happened to us before. In both instances, it ended up being a poor grade of silver nitrate. In one case, the was the fault of the company (poor QC). We returned it to the company and they gave us another batch/lot number, which worked fine. Another time, our hospital purchasing department tried to save money by switching to a cheaper grade of silver nitrate, which also precipitated all the time, too. In the long run, it didn't save money and in fact cost us more (see next paragraph).

In the meantime, make up a double batch (fresh). Place in two different coplin jars. Heat the slide in one coplin jar with silver. When that silver solutions starts turning blackish, pull the slide out and place it in the other coplin jar of silver solution that has been sitting on the counter. Now heat the second container of silver solution with the slide in it. By the time that silver starts precipitating, your slide/fungus should be about the right shade of gray/black. (Now you see why the poor grade of silver ended up costing us more money in the long run. We had to make two coplin jars of silver solution, instead of one.)

Hope this helps.

Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
Schools of Histotechnology
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jeannie Heck 
  To: Histonet 
  Sent: Monday, August 18, 2003 3:47 PM
  Subject: [Histonet] GMS Precipitant

  The procedure that we use for our Gomori Methenamine Silver (GMS) stain comes directly from Frieda Carson's Histotechnology: A Self Instructional Text. The microwave procedure has worked well for us for many years but about 6 months ago we started getting a dark black precipitant on our slides and the inside of our Coplin jars. We have tried numerous different potential solutions, such as chemically cleaning our Coplin jars, using various types of deionized water (all Type 1), preparing fresh solutions and adjusting the temperature by decreasing and increasing the heating time. When we first encountered this problem it did not occur with the conventional method, but lately it has been occuring with both methods. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

  Jeannie Heck HT (ASCP)

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