[Histonet] Bone Marrow Trephine Cases

Vickroy, Jim Vickroy.Jim <@t> mhsil.com
Mon Jul 14 13:37:53 CDT 2014

Over the past several years we have had some questions by our hematopathologists regarding the quality of the trephine blocks.  The biggest concern has been that the sections seem to have  a fragmented appearance which we have determined in the past to be areas where the lipid cell borders break.   We have found that the artifact is diminished when we pick the sections up as quickly as we can which led us to believe that the cell borders break when they are left on the   warm water in the waterbath.  Some of the pathologists still believe the artifact is caused by the decalcification process.

I have reviewed protocols before and obviously found that labs use different decalcifying agents from a harsh HCL solution to a weaker formic acid solution.  We currently use Immunocal which I believe is a formic acid solution.   I have also been introduced to some new instrumentation available such as the Milestone Bone Station which uses a EDTA solution with some added heat and agitation.  I realize that EDTA  yields more DNA and RNA which is obviously an advantage however the length of time for the decal process with EDTA is much longer.   I'm not sure that using EDTA for decalcification will however reduce the artifact that the pathologists see (fragmentation and breaking up of the lipid cells in the sections.

I would appreciate any information that others might be able to share from their experiences and if they have dealt with a similar problem.


James Vickroy BS, HT(ASCP)

Surgical  and Autopsy Pathology Technical Supervisor
Memorial Medical Center
217-415-7505 Cell

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