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Artifacts in Histological and Cytological Preparations

In histological and cytological terms, an artifact can be defined as a structure that is not normally present in the living tissue. In some situations, the presence of an artifact can compromise an accurate diagnosis.

The aim of this publication is to promote an awareness of the various artifacts which may be encountered in histopathology, to provide a guide for their recognition, to explain their causes and to suggest, where possible, the means by which their occurrence can be avoided.

Learn more about:

  • Prefixation Artifacts
  • Fixation Artifacts
  • Tissue-Processing Artifacts
  • Artifacts of Microtomy and Section Mounting
  • Staining Artifacts
  • Section Preservation Artifacts
  • Artifacts in Frozen Sections
  • Artifacts in Bone and Calcified Tissues
  • Artifacts in Resin Sections
  • Histochemistry, Immunohistochemistry and Hybridization Histochemistry
  • Miscellaneous Artifacts
  • Artifacts in Cytological Preparations
  • Common Artifacts

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References

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  2. Thompson SW, Luna LG: An atlas of artifacts. Springfield, Charles C Thomas, 1978
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  4. Schlosshauer PW, Chen W, Chanderdatt D, Antonio LB: Monsel's artifact in gynecologic biopsies: a simple remedy. The Journal of Histotechnology 2005, 28:161-162
  5. Raife T, Landas SK: Intracellular crystalline material in visceral adipose material: "rediscovery" of a common artifact. The Journal of Histotechnology 1993, 16:69-70
  6. Kobayashi H, Mahovlic D, Bauer TW: Interpreting and avoiding histologic artifacts in hard-tissue research. The Journal of Histotechnology 2006, 29:223-228
  7. Lee H, Neville K: Handbook of epoxy resins. New York, McGraw Hill, 1957
  8. Cook SF, Ezra-Cohn HE: A comparison of methods for decalcifying bone. J Histochem Cytochem 1962, 10:560-563
  9. Patterson S, Gross J, Webster ADB: DNA probes bind non-specifically to eosinophils during in situ hybridisation but does not inhibit hybridisation to specific nucleotide sequences. J Virol Methods 1989, 23:105-109
  10. Luna LG: Questions in search of an answer (Question 4). HistoLogic 1988:16
  11. Dayman ME: Response to questions in search of an answer. HistoLogic 1989:56-57
  12. Grizzle WE: The effect of tissue processing variables other than fixation on histochemical staining and immunohistochemical detection of antigens. The Journal of Histotechnology 2001, 24:213-219
  13. Wynnchuk M: An artifact of H&E staining: The problem and its solution. The Journal of Histotechnology 1990, 13:193-198
  14. Drury RAB, Wallington EA: Carleton's histological technique. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1980
  15. Faolain EO, Hunter MB, Byrne JM, Kelehan P, Lambkin HA, Byrne HJ, Lyng FM: Raman spectroscopic evaluation of efficacy of current paraffin wax section dewaxing agents. Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 2005, 53:121-129
  16. Wied GL, Keebler CM, Koss LG, Patten SF, Rosenthal DL (editors): Compendium of diagnostic cytology. Chicago, Tutorials of Cytology, 1992

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