[Histonet] Re: control tissues

Malam Jacqueline Jacqueline.Malam <@t> rli.mbht.nhs.uk
Wed Dec 7 06:52:16 CST 2005

We have a range of blocks both for immunos and special stains. We cut test
and positive controls at the same time; case sections are mounted at the top
of the slide; section from the control block goes at the bottom. We never
pre-cut control sections. Also, we make a multiblock from 2 or 3 types of
tissue (ie appendix+tonsil+colon all in one block;
appendix+pancreas+carcinoid are another, as is testis+appendix) as this
covers quite a wide range of immunos and, if one of the tissue samples isn't
as good as the last for, example, CEA in colons (they do vary from case to
case), then the other backs it up. It also means that you can cut a long
ribbon of just the one block so it's a lot quicker than using many blocks,
and it means that as little as 3 mulitblocks can be used for many of the
immunos ranging from cytokeratin markers and lymphomas to some
neuroendocrine markers.
As for case ID, each sample of appendix or colon or tonsil etc taken is
logged onto a specific sheet with the case number and number of blocks -
example - first case sampled with 3 blocks taken would be 1-(1,2,3); the
second case with 5 blocks 2-(1,2,3,4,5) etc. When the multiblock is made,
these "1-(1,2,3)" etc details for all of the tissues are logged on its own
sheet - example: "tonsil-colon-appendix multiblock 1" could consist of
"colon block 1-1 + appendix block 3-4 + tonsil block 2-7"; multiblock 2
could be the same, depending on how many blocks there were for each tissue
I test each positive control block for suitability (where appropriate) and
keep the slides as a record plus log it down on its sheet with date and
staff initials. I am now trying to create a digital image gallery file so if
CPA ever ask us what is the source of Mr Blogg's positive control tissue, we
can not only identify the actual case used but supply photo evidence that it
has passes its suitability test.
Does that sound complicated? Isn't really when you get used to it.
Jacqui Malam

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