Histology Sample Preparation
Histology sample preparation prepares tissue specimens for sectioning, staining and diagnosis. The standard paraffin process (tissue processing) moves specimens through a series of steps so the soft tissue is supported in a medium that allows sectioning. The standard steps are: Fixation that preserves the tissue, Processing that dehydrates, clears and infiltrates the tissue with paraffin wax, Embedding that allows orientation of the specimen in a “block” that can be sectioned and is easy to store and handle, and Sectioning using a microtome to produce very thin sections that are placed on a microscope slide ready for staining. Frozen sectioning is an alternative preparation technique that quickly freezes tissue to preserve it and provide sufficient hardness so it can be sectioned immediately using a cryostat. This technique is often used during surgery where the surgeon needs to locate a tumor margin to ensure it has all been removed.
ArticleFixation is a critical step in the preparation of histological sections. If it is not carried out under optimal conditions or if fixation is delayed, a tissue specimen can be irreversibly damaged. No matter how much care is subsequently taken in tissue processing, microtomy and staining, the…
ArticleThis second part of the Fixation and Fixatives series covers the factors that influence the rate and effectiveness of tissue fixation as well as looking at two common fixatives: formaldehyde (histology) and glutaraldehyde (ultrastructural electron microscopy studies).
ArticleAs well as formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, discussed previously, a number of other reagents have been used for fixation, sometimes in simple solution but often combined with other agents in the form of compound fixatives. The more important of these are discussed here in Part 3 of the Fixation and…
ArticleIn this fourth part of the Fixation and Fixatives series, we look at some of the many popular and traditional fixative solutions that have been used in histology for the last 100 years. This part also has an overview of proprietary solutions and provides advice on how to select the right…
ArticleFixation and Fixatives (5) – Practical procedures to optimise quality, the effects of heat and microwavesIn this final part of the Fixation and Fixatives series we look at practical ways to optimise fixation quality, discuss how heat effects fixation and finish with an introduction to the relatively new field of microwave fixation.
Webinar06. Feb 2012 Institute: Strata Pathology Services Inc., Lexington, MA, USAJoin Clifford M. Chapman, MS, HTL(ASCP), QIHC, technical director, Strata Pathology Services Inc., Lexington, MA, on April 26 from 2-3 p.m. for a free webinar on quality management for the histology laboratory.
Tutorial18. Oct 2011 Institute: Leica Biosystems, Wetzlar, GermanyFrom time to time, in all histopathology laboratories, paraffin blocks will be encountered that are difficult or even impossible to section. This publication provides guidance on how to deal with these difficult blocks to get the best possible section, and how to identify and avoid a repeat of…
Tutorial03. Jun 2011 Institute: Leica MicrosystemsSample tracking systems help reduce misdiagnosis by positively identifying patient tissue throughout the diagnostic process.
Tutorial30. May 2011 Institute: Leica Biosystems, Wetzlar, GermanyAn introduction to the preparation of specimens for microscopy in the histopathology laboratory.
Article27. May 2011 Institute: Pathology Innovations, LLC, Wyckoff, NJ, USAAnyone who has visited Dr. Peter’s website tutorial on frozen section techniques knows that he is a true believer in the brush technique. Let’s learn how he teaches this valuable skill to his resident.
Tutorial26. May 2011 Institute: Leica Biosystems, Wetzlar, GermanyMicroscopic analysis of cells and tissues requires the preparation of very thin, high quality sections (slices) mounted on glass slides and appropriately stained to demonstrate normal and abnormal structures. Most fresh tissue is very delicate and easily distorted and damaged and it is thus…
Article21. Apr 2011 Institute: Pathology Innovations, LLC, Wyckoff, NJ, USAThis article describes a system used for embedding of tissues for the preparation of frozen sections. This novel system uses simple techniques and apparatus to accomplish face-down embedding in freezing-temperature steel wells. The system is easy to learn and offers many advantages over conventional…
Human Histology & Introductory Pathology
Basic introduction to histology
Comprehensive textbook of surgical and clinical pathology
Educational tools for pathology residents and physicians
Virtuel Slidebox for histology and histopathology
Blue histology - broad coverage of histology
Health science library
Useful information about dyes, stains and staining
Information Source for immunohistochemistry
Useful information on staining techniques
Organizations and Discussion Groups
Histonet - listserver for the histology profession
The National Society for Histotechnology
The Histology Group of Victoria
Histotechnology Group of Queensland
Histotechnology Group of NSW
Quality Assessment Programs
United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service
Nordic Immunohistochemical Quality Group
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australia
HistoQIP quality assurance program
Search engine for histology information
Comprehensive information source about antibodies and IHC
Search interface for pubmed
List of academic databases and search engines
Beta of Google's search engine for scientific abstracts
Journal of Clinical Pathology
Pathology in Practice - practical solutions, news, case studies
Directory of open access journals
International, peer-reviewed, open-access online publication
Useful Text Books
Human Histology & Introductory Pathology
Young B, O’Dowd G, Stewart W, (2010): Wheater's Basic Pathology: A Text, Atlas and Review of Histopathology (5th ed.)
Kerr JB. (2010): Functional Histology (2nd ed.)
Mescher AL. (2009): Jun queira's Basic Histology ( 12th ed.)
Eroschenko VP. (2007): diFiore's Atlas of Histology with Functional Correlations (11th ed.)
Young B, Lowe JS, Stevens A, Heath JW (2006): Wheater's Functional Histology (5th ed.)
Stephen R. Peters (2009): A Practical Guide to Frozen Section Technique. Springer-Verlag.
Carson F, Hladik C. (2009): Histotechnology: A Self-Instructional Text. (3rd ed.)
Kiernan J. (2008): Histological and Histochemical Methods: Theory and Practice. (4th ed.)
Bancroft JD, Gamble M. (2007). Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques. (6 th ed.) online publication