[Histonet] Re: Eosin to dye small Biopsies

DKBoyd <@t> chs.net DKBoyd <@t> chs.net
Fri Oct 22 10:10:54 CDT 2010

As much as I respect Dr. Richmond, I would have to disagree that staining 
bx's with eosin is a waste of pathologist time.  It helps the embedding 
tech and cutting tech see the minute pieces, which may be otherwise lost. 
Sometimes that is the diagnostic material.
We would not want to put a patient through another procedure because we 
couldn't recover the tissue submitted.
We use a vial with a dropper.  Once the biopsy is placed in the cassette 
you take 1 second more to drop a drop of eosin on the specimen. 
Well worth everyone's time in my humble opinion.

Debbie M. Boyd, HT(ASCP) l Chief Histologist l Southside Regional Medical 
Center I 
200 Medical Park Boulevard l Petersburg, Va.  23805 l T: 804-765-5050 l F: 
804-765-5582 l dkboyd <@t> chs.net

Robert Richmond <rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com> 
Sent by: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
10/22/2010 10:44 AM

histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

[Histonet] Re: Eosin to dye small Biopsies

Allison Scott at LBJ Hospital in Houston, Texas asks about the use of
eosin to dye small biopsy specimens.

Several replies mention addition of eosin to one of the processing
alcohols. I have never seen this done, in maybe 60 pathology services
I've worked in. (I'd know, because I nearly always examine the
paraffin block when I order recuts or send a case out for

It's a fine time-waster for the pathologist to mark small specimens
with dye while grossing. I've used Mercurochrome (merbromin, related
to eosin but with 26% mercury) which fortunately was banned in the USA
about ten years ago. I've used eosin, and I've used safranin (from the
microbiology lab's Gram stain setup). I don't know whether safranin
interferes with FISH, as eosin is well known to, nor do I know if you
can put safranin in the processing alcohol. And I've used Davidson
tissue marking inks.

I've never seen or heard of cobalt blue used for this purpose - is
this the insoluble coloring material, chemically cobalt aluminate?

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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