FW: [Histonet] to microwave or not to microwave

WILLIAM DESALVO wdesalvo.cac <@t> hotmail.com
Tue Mar 29 20:08:45 CDT 2011

This question comes up every so often and the good news is that
there many good to great processors on the market and, like all things, they have
their plus and minus issues. Before you decide which processor to purchase, you
must first decide what you want the tissue processor to accomplish and identify
the two or three most important issues that will most affect your process change.
There is a growing trend in Histology to become more efficient/cost effective,
reducing TAT and incorporating LEAN process improvement. I whole heartedly suggest
you look to improve your process to match this trend and by doing so, you will
be lead to rapid tissue processing in a most efficient LEAN way. Couple the
previously mentioned trend with the ability to standardize processing for your routine
formalin fixed samples and have the ability to process both formalin and
molecular fixed samples on the same instrument; I suggest the Sakura Xpress
(X50 or X120) rapid processors.

These instruments provide continuous loading, small batch
and require a small volume of reagent for processing and then discard. You must
address grossing tissue samples to within specification, but that is an issue
that you have to address with all tissue processors. A great advantage of
incorporating this instrument into your LEAN process is the increased velocity
of the workflow as the instruments are continuous load (no cleaning cycle
between batches) and small batch (1 to 40 cassettes). Loading 1 or 2 cassettes
when a STAT or RUSH cases arrives
and completes fixation does not interrupt the process or require special
handling. An important factor to consider is that continuous load processing
does assist in workload leveling, which will lead to reducing employee stress,
increase productivity and error reduction. All these factors contribute directly
to reducing TAT. Add the often overlooked advantage of removing Xylene from
your tissue processing, and again, I suggest you consider the Xpress. 

I was an early adopter (5+ yrs. use) and continue to use the
X120 (2 units). I have not experienced any instrument performance or
maintenance issues and we have never over processed tissues or incorrectly
processed tissue samples. There is no other instrument that can facilitate processing
in small batch or provide the continuous delivery of cassettes. You can do
rapid processing with all of the instruments you are considering, but
conventional, one reaction chamber instruments will limit the number of processing
runs per day and that will lead to increased batch size.

If you have interest or questions, feel free to
contact me directly. I would be more than happy to share my experience with conventional,
microwave and rapid tissue processing.

William DeSalvo, B.S. HTL (ASCP)

> From: Karla.Sendelbach <@t> thedacare.org
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 12:44:02 -0500
> Subject: [Histonet] to microwave or not to microwave
> We are evaluating rapid tissue processing instruments. I would appreciate any comments about microwave tissue process and rapid non microwave tissue process. Peloris II, STP 420ES and  Milestone Pathos come to mind. Also, is there anyone who switched from microwave processing to rapid non microwave tissue processing?
> Thank you,
> Dr. Sendelbach
> Appleton Medical Center
> Appleton Wisconsin
> 920.738.6294
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> Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
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