[Histonet] Re: Ultrum II ("Ultram") fixative

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Wed Mar 3 16:10:02 CST 2010

Richard Cartun asked about "Ultram" fixative, which Cindy Dubois
informs us is actually Ultrum fixative.

According to its MSDS (dated 2003), Ultrum II tissue fixative contains
glutaraldehyde, phenol, zinc chloride, sodium acetate, citric acid,
and water.

It is offered by American Master*Tech Scientific, Inc. in Lodi CA.
They also supply genuine B5 fixative, Bouin's fixative, and Carnoy's fixative.

Some patent applications from a few years back suggest that Ultrum II
was used to fix prostate biopsy specimens.

Obviously glutaraldehyde and phenol both have safety and environmental
problems of their own. Whether they would practically and legally
support IHC would be hard to predict. And in diagnosing prostate
cancer, the use of nucleoli as a criterion of malignancy requires NBF
- other fixatives are likely to result in demonstrating nucleoli in
benign cells.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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