[Histonet] Weighing specimens

Philip Oshel peoshel <@t> wisc.edu
Tue Jun 7 16:55:20 CDT 2005

Formalin fixation causes both weight loss and specimen shrinkage, 
mostly from extraction of tissue components. A 5% weight loss doesn't 
sound surprising.
Maybe. How long have the specimens been in formalin, and are they 
weighed after removal from the formalin and blotting to soak up the 
excess formalin? Were they blotted before weighing in surgery?
This sort of question comes up in the ecological (especially 
physiological ecology) literature all the time.


>Used formalin, particularly from breast cases will retain components from
>the tissue.  We see these as the non-recyclable by-product after used
>formalin is recaptured.  Perhaps this explains, at least partially, this
>Thomas Jasper HT(ASCP)BAS
>Anatomic Pathology Coordinator
>SMDC Clinical Laboratory
>Duluth, MN
>tjasper <@t> smdc.org
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Barb Richmond [mailto:Barb.Richmond <@t> mckennan.org]
>Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 4:36 PM
>To: 'histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu'
>Subject: [Histonet] Weighing specimens
>Does formalin decrease the weight of tissue?  In surgery for breast
>reductions the tissue removed is weighing > 400 grams.  After the addition
>of formalin the lab is getting a weight that is 20 grams less.  The
>balance/scales used have been compared and they only have 2-3 gram
>diffrence.  What do you think??
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Philip Oshel
Supervisor, BBPIC microscopy facility
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Wisconsin
1675 Observatory Drive
Madison,  WI  53706
voice: (608) 263-4162
fax: (608) 262-5157 (dept. fax)

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