Artifacts in Histological and Cytological Preparations

01. April 2008

Histology artifacts and cytology artifacts are structures that were not originally present in the living tissue. These artifacts can be from a range of sources including contamination, poor tissue preparation and surgical procedures. Understanding artifacts is important for both histologists and pathologists as they have the potential to compromise accurate diagnosis.

Artifacts in Histological and Cytological Preparations describes many common histology and cytology artifacts and offers suggestions on their causes, and importantly how they can be avoided.

The artifact classification scheme is modified from that originally devised by Wallington1 and follows the standard histology and cytology sequences while also including some specialized techniques.

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Geoffrey Rolls

Geoffrey Rolls, Histology Consultant, Leica Biosystems, Melbourne, Australia, has extensive experience practicing and teaching histology and histotechnology including 30 years as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a science degree and a professional Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists. He has a broad interest in histotechnology, particularly in the areas of tissue processing and microtomy and in general histology education. For the last ten years he has acted as a consultant to Leica Biosystems.

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