[Histonet] Distilled Water vs DI water for IHC and H&E staining

Caroline Miller mills at 3scan.com
Thu Jul 28 12:29:18 CDT 2016

Totally agree with the other comments, I had one anecdote though. I worked
in a clinical lab at the Hammersmith in London, with an autostainer. One
day the H&E started coming off really funny, way too blue, not enough
eosin. We traced everything in the lab, and NOTHING had changed. We
scratched our heads, banged them against the wall and fixed the problem by
changing staining times and fiddling with the protocol.

JUST as we got it fixed the powers that be told us the whole hospital had
changed our main water supply!

Oh, histology, you are so voodoo sometimes!

Happy Friday!


On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 9:54 AM, Morken, Timothy via Histonet <
histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu> wrote:

> Charles, for most histology applications water from laboratory-grade DI
> and distilled systems are fairly interchangeable because modern systems
> bring them pretty close to the same purity. But some stains can be affected
> if they are susceptible to chemical interactions with something left in the
> water. That is probably more important for tests like enzyme histochemistry
> than bulk chemical dye staining.
> These systems are not just stand-alone "deionized" or "distilled" anymore
> and now include various pre- and post- filtration steps for removing
> particulates, volatile compounds, bacteria, etc  (ours "DI" system has
> several DI resin beds, carbon filters, particulate filters, UV etc). Even
> modern distilling systems will filter tap water with various filters
> (particulates, carbon, bacteria) before distilling.
> I don't think the consumer type filters will do the same job as a DI or
> distilled system. They are designed to filter out only the particulates and
> volatile compounds (particulate/bacteria and carbon filters for the most
> part). There is no deionization or demineralization (assuming you are using
> city tap water). However, a reverse osmosis system (which also has several
> other filters pre-RO) may do the trick for you. It is not quite as good at
> purifying as a laboratory-quality DI or Distilled system, but may suffice
> for histology.
> Tim Morken
> Pathology Site Manager, Parnassus
> Supervisor, Electron Microscopy/Neuromuscular Special Studies
> Department of Pathology
> UC San Francisco Medical Center
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles Riley via Histonet [mailto:histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> ]
> Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2016 4:54 AM
> To: histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Subject: [Histonet] Distilled Water vs DI water for IHC and H&E staining
> Does anyone know if there is a difference in staining results when using
> DI water versus Distilled water? Our lab is trying to get away from the DI
> system we have as it is becoming expensive to maintain and we were looking
> to see if we could just use a home drinking filter with UV lighting for our
> water supply. Please let me know any thoughts or concerns you might have
> with this idea
> --
> Charles Riley HT(ASCP)CM
> Histopathology Coordinator/ Mohs
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Caroline Miller (mills)
Director of Histology
415 2187297

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