[Histonet] Shrinkage

Caroline Miller mills at 3scan.com
Mon Feb 22 15:41:05 CST 2016

hi All, I have done some experiments in this area for mouse brains, and I
find that there is actually an expansion of tissue after formalin fixation
(around 10%), but then certainly a shrinkage to 100% dehydration agent of
about 20% from the original size. We found similar results with alcohol,
acetone and THF.

This is manual fluid changes or a day per solution, with no vacuum, temp or

Happy to share the data if anyone is interested


On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 1:10 PM, Terri Braud via Histonet <
histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu> wrote:

> LOL...Shrinkage...heh, heh.
> But seriously, there should be little to no gross shrinkage from formalin
> fixation and if the specimen is properly fixed, then there should be very
> little gross shrinkage as it is dehydrated.  That is supposed to be the
> point!  If someone is getting 30% shrinkage, there is something seriously
> wrong with their processing schedule.
> Sincerely, Terri
> Terri L. Braud, HT(ASCP)
> Anatomic Pathology Supervisor
> Today's Topics:
>    2. formalin and shrinkage (Gudrun Lang)
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:59:21 +0100
> From: "Gudrun Lang" <gu.lang at gmx.at>
> Subject: [Histonet] formalin and shrinkage
> Hi!
> Today someone asked me about shrinkage caused by the fixation with
> formaldehyde specially on skin-biopsies.  She spoke about shrinkage of 30%
> percent. In my opinion shrinkage is mainly caused by the processing with
> dehydration and defatting. Formaldehyde renders the tissue harder but not
> strictly smaller.
> What is the opinion of the community?
> Gudrun
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Caroline Miller (mills)
Director of Histology
415 2187297

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