[Histonet] Opinion on dye on biopsies

Bob Richmond rsrichmond at gmail.com
Sat Jan 12 13:52:01 CST 2019

Gareth Davis asked about dyes to use to mark small GI biopsy specimens to
make sure they're recovered during embedding.

I've had good results marking small specimens with the solution of safranin
O that's used in the microbiologists' Gram stain. Go to the micro lab and
ask for a small amount of it and try it.

Do not use eosin on biopsy specimens. Eosin's brilliant fluorescence makes
it very difficult to do any kind of fluorescent stain on the sections. (It
also doesn't work as well as safranin, which isn't fluorescent.)

Another necessary procedure at the gross desk: fill out a log sheet that
records the number of specimens you put into the cassette, and have that
log sheet in front of you when you embed. (I've had a lot of histotechs
flatly refuse to do this.)

I like those little blue foam pads you put in the cassette and put the
small specimens on. I usually cut them in two before putting them in the

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Maryville TN

More information about the Histonet mailing list