Fixation: What should the pathologist do?

  • I. M. P. Dawson

Synopsis

Pathologists handling surgical material must make a definitive diagnosis, usually on a Haematoxylin-Eosin stained section, but must also consider beforehand what supporting histochemical investigations may be needed. When only one small piece of tissue is available it should either be fixed in cold neutral or buffered formalin-calcium or formalin-sucrose or alternatively quenched; the first alternative offers a more practical all-round procedure and most investigations which are likely to be of use can be done following it. If the biopsy is divisible into two, one piece should be fixed and the second quenched; if 3 pieces are available, the third should be fixed in glutaraldehyde for possible electron microscopy.

Keywords

Formaldehyde Sucrose Acetone Albumin Aldehyde 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. BAKER, J. R. (1946). The histochemical recognition of lipines. Quart J. Microscop. Sci. 87, 441–70.Google Scholar
  2. BAKER, J.R. & MCCRAE, J.M. (1966). The fine structure resulting from fixation by formaldehyde. The effects of concentration, duration and temperature. Jl R. microsc. Soc. 85, 391–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BRADBURY, S. & STOWARD, P.J. (1967). The specific cytochemical demonstration in the electron microscope of periodate-reactive mucosubstances and polysaccharides containing vic-glycol groups. Histochemie II, 71–80.Google Scholar
  4. CHAMBERS, R. W., BOWLING, M. C. & GRIMLEY, P. M. (1968). Glutaraldehyde fixation in routine pathology. Arch. Path. 85, 18–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. DAWSON, I. (1970). The endocrine cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Histochem. J. 2, 527–49.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DAWSON, I. M. P. (1972). The histochemistry of Crohn’s disease. In Clinics in Gastroenterology (ed. B. Brooke), Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 309–20. London: Saunders.Google Scholar
  7. FLITNEY, F.W. (1966). The time course of the fixation of albumin by formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, acrolein and other higher aldehydes. J. R. microsc. Soc. 85, 353–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. HOLT, S. J., HOBBIGER, E. L. & PAWAN, G. L. S. (1960). Preservation of integrity of rat tissues for cytochemical staining purposes. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 7, 383–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. HOPWOOD, D. (1969). Fixatives and fixation: a review. Histochem. J. 1, 323–60 .PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. JANIGAN, D. T. (1964). Tissue enzyme fixation studies I. The effects of aldehyde fixation on β-glucuronidase, β-galactosidase, N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase and β-glucosidase in tissue blocks. Lab. Invest. 13, 1038–50.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. JANIGAN, D. T. (1965). The effects of aldehyde fixation on acid phosphatase activity in tissue blocks. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 13, 476–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. LAKE, B.D. (1970). The histochemical evaluation of the glycogen storage disorders. A review of techniques and their limitations. Histochem. J. 2, 441–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. LOJDA, Z. (1970a). Indigogenic methods for glycosidases I. An improved method for β-D glucosidase and its application to localization studies of intestinal and renal enzymes. Histochemie 22, 347–61.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. LOJDA, Z. (1970b). Indigogenic methods for glycosidases II. An improved method for β-D galactosidase and its application to localization studies of the enzymes in the intestine and in other tissues. Histochemie 23, 266–88.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. NORDSTRÖM, C., DAHLQVIST, A. & JOSEFSSON, L. (1967). Quantitative determination of enzymes in different parts of the villi and crypts of rat small intestine. Comparison of alkaline phosphatase, disaccharidases and dipeptidases. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 15, 713–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. NORDSTRÖM, C., KOLDOVSKY, O. & DAHLQVIST, A. (1969). Localization of β-galactosidases and acid phosphatase in the small intestinal wall. Comparison of adult and suckling rat. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 17, 341–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. PEARSE, A.G.E. (1968). Histochemistry: Theoretical and Applied, 3rd Edn. Vol. I, p. 601. London: Churchill.Google Scholar
  18. SABATINI, D.D., BENSCH, K., BARRNETT, R. J. (1963). Cytochemistry and electron microscopy. The preservation of cellular ultrastructure and enzymatic activity by aldehyde fixation. J. Cell Biol. 17, 19–58.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. M. P. Dawson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical HistochemistryWestminster Medical SchoolLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of NottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations