[Histonet] decalcifying bone marrow biopsy specimens

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Sat Feb 12 12:23:56 CST 2011

Bone marrow biopsy specimens can be decalcified with a variety of
commercial and home-brewed decalcifiers. Always you have to make sure
you don't leave the specimen in the decalcifier for too long.

All decalcifiers leach out iron (hemosiderin). The iron stain should
be done on the undecalcified clot or particle section (though I find
this is almost never done).

The iron stain should also be done on one of the marrow smears.
Avoiding the leaching effect of fixatives is important, but even more
important, the pathologist needs to look for ringed sideroblasts in
the smears stained with the Perls prussian blue reaction. These
usually can't be seen in sections.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

More information about the Histonet mailing list