[Histonet] Quality and Turn around, and what about floaters?

Histopatty <@t> aol.com Histopatty <@t> aol.com
Sun Jul 1 09:23:58 CDT 2007

I recently visited a certain company that claimed to have a solution for 
consistency in quality stain and an answer to the problem of carry over.  The 
stainer stained slides individually thus eliminating carry over in the stain 
solution and insuring high quality staining for each slide since the solution was 
fresh each time.  We did a comparison of our facility stained slides with 
recuts of the same slides stained on their system.  There was a marked difference 
in the quality of the biopsies stained, (more subcellular details, such as 
villi, and brush boarders are visible) but on the larger specimens the difference 
was not so evident.  I applaud the innovation of this company to bring H&E 
staining up to higher standards.  However this still leaves me wondering if there 
is a way to individualize/optimize processing of specimens.  Obviously the 
biopsies are easier to optimize because of their smaller size.  But when it 
comes to processing larger specimens the optimization is lost due to many factors: 
type of tissue (fat, smooth muscle, etc.), thickness variations, and last but 
not least fixation time.  In our facility we train resident pathologist, so 
that may be part of the problem, as well as the turn around time issues due to 
regulating organization and customer demands.  I am wondering what other 
facilities do if anything to optimize specimen processing (which seems essential) 
in order to have consistency in the quality of all slides with a turn around 
time that is acceptable to all concerned.    We currently have 3 routine 
processing schedules, one for biopies, routine specimens and larger fatty specimens.  
We utilize 5 processors with staggered starting times.  Any insight or 
suggestion will be appreciated.  
Patty E. 

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