[Histonet] Re: Histonet question, bluing frozen sections

Robert Richmond RSRICHMOND <@t> aol.com
Thu Jun 5 12:11:54 CDT 2008

Several things to check if frozen section slides appear inadequately blued:

The hematoxylin needs to be fresh, filtered daily, and covered when not in use.

Don't use a regressive (acid-differentiated) hematoxylin for frozen sections.

Slosh the slide around in the hematoxylin until it's thoroughly wetted
and doesn't "bead" on the slide. Stain for long enough (usually about
a minute).

Lithium carbonate is the simplest and strongest bluing agent for
frozen sections, though the others work also. Put dry lithium
carbonate into water in a bottle (not glass-stoppered) until a fine
white sediment appears on the bottom - that means that the LiCO3,
which is sparingly soluble in water, is saturated. Pour some off into
a Coplin jar and top off the bottle with more water (tap water will
usually do). Lithium carbonate has some medical uses, but it is not a
controlled substance. When I'm on the road, I carry a supply with me
to use in labs where the frozen section bluing is inadequate.

Be sure to look at the slide yourself!

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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