[Histonet] is there a way to recover ruined tissues

Houston, Ronald Ronald.Houston <@t> nationwidechildrens.org
Wed Nov 16 10:09:54 CST 2011

I have used a technique similar to the one in this article when I was fortunate to work on some mummified tissue, with surprising success, when I was back in Glasgow many, many moons ago

Mekota A-M, Vermehren M    Determination of optimal rehydration, fixation and staining methods for histological and immunohistochemical analysis of mummified soft tissues. Biotechnic & Histochemistry 2005, 80(1): 7-13


Ronnie Houston, MS HT(ASCP)QIHC
Anatomic Pathology Manager
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Columbus OH 43205
(614) 722 5450

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Shelly Christenson
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:06 AM
To: Patsy Ruegg; 'histo net'
Subject: RE: [Histonet] is there a way to recover ruined tissues

I have used this reprocessing schedule from Lee Luna's book "Histopathologic Methods and Color Atlas of Specials Stains and Tissue Artifact". This procedure has worked for me on a couple of occasions, You may need to change the times a little since your tissue samples are so small. Luna's book has a lot of information that is very helpful, and would be a good reference book to have in the lab. Hope this helps you out, give it a try.

Tissue Softening Solution
The following solution is used for softening dried tissue specimens prior to reprocessing or processing

      Formol-Sodium Acetate (Stock) Solution
Concentrated formalin (37%) solution    10 ml
Sodium acetate                                             2 gm
Tap water                                                     90 ml

     Formol-Glycerol (Working) Solution
Formalin-sodium acetate (stock)              90 ml
Glycerol (glycerin)                                      10 ml
       Reprocessing Schedule
Melt the paraffin blocks down
Place the tissue in 3 changes of xylene for 1 hour each Place in 100% alcohol, 2 changes for 1 hour each Place in 95% alcohol, 2 changes for 1 hour each Place under running tap water for 20 minutes Place in formol-glycerol working solution until tissue becomes soft (In most instances this will occur within 5-8 hours: extended exposure to the formol-gycerol will not harm tissue specimens) Place the tissue in the process and proceed with routine Processing schedule. How ever it is not necessary for the tissue to go through the fixative stations on the processor

Best of Luck,


Shelly Christenson HT (ASCP)

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory


L-216 Mosier Hall

Kansas State University


From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] on behalf of Patsy Ruegg [pruegg <@t> ihctech.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 2:26 PM
To: 'histo net'
Subject: [Histonet] is there a way to recover ruined tissues

My tissue processor was loaded and although the technician thought they started it, the next morning the tissues were found dry in the retort with the processor not started.  Another technician just started the machine so the tissues got processed as they would have been had it started the day before.  The tissues look terrible, they shrank so much that the pieces started coming out of the cassettes even though they were plenty large enough in the first place.  The tissues were found to be very small and hard but were embedded, sectioned and stained anyway (I was not informed about this until I started questioning why the tissues looked so bad).

Of course the investigator is very upset that their tissues are ruined.
Does anyone know if there is any way to try and recovery these tissues?
They were mouse lungs and livers.  The livers are not as bad as the lungs, the lungs were inflated and they look compressed and unrecognizable as lung tissue.  If the investigator will ever speak to me again I am going to ask for the blocks back and try melting them down and perhaps try to rehydrate them somehow for reprocessing.



Patsy Ruegg, HT(ASCP)QIHC


12635 Montview Blvd. Ste.215

Aurora, CO 80045


fax 720-859-4110



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