[Histonet] Artifacts in histology section

Joseph Saby saby_joseph_a <@t> yahoo.com
Sun Jul 25 12:49:05 CDT 2010

What you are describing might be microchatter.  These will be sharp parallel 
lines/cracks that run parallel to the knife edge and are only visible under the 

The usuall cause is a combination of overprocessing and rough facing that is too 
aggressive and/or with too dull a blade.  Overprocessing makes the tissue very 
hard and somewhat brittle.  The thick sections/dull knife cause the tissue to 
compress and then release, causing the chatter.  The actual danage is in the 
block face.

Once you have the problem in a block, if the tissue is thick enough, you might 
be able to repeatedly soak the block in ice water and gently (with a fairly 
sharp knife) reface.  With luck, you might be able to get through the damaged 
block face.  

Another artifact I have seen is similar, but the chatter appears very blurry.  
This is usually caused be poor fixation/processing, then oversoaking the blocks 
after facing.  The trick here is to reface the block, then chill it without 
exposure to water.  I've sectioned such blocks after placing them in a freezer 
to chill them thoroughly.  This will help to obtain a section, but may not fix 
the staining problems that might show up later.  

Good luck!

Joe Saby, BA HT

From: Aazath Raj <aazath <@t> hotmail.com>
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Sent: Fri, July 23, 2010 11:26:28 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Artifacts in histology section

Dear Friends,

              I am an Histology Technologist. I am having a problem here,while 
sectioning am not seeing and scoring artifacts on the section but in the 
microscope am seeing a tearing artifacts particularly in endoscopy biopsies. am 
not able to locate where is the problem,is that because of blades or due to 
micro-crystallization of wax or due to any processing problem. Its not 
consistently in all but i get it on some blocks every  day. Can any one help me 
in sorting it out. If anybody is interested in will send the picture of those 

with regards,


Technical Officer,

Apollo Hospitals-chennai


aazath <@t> hotmail.com

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