Dermatology 101

Dermatology 101

Dermatopathology is a subject heading in pathology all unto itself. The intrinsic nature of dermatopathology specimens received in a laboratory necessitates a clear understanding of the material due to importance of the skin’s histology presentation as an organ. The goal of the histologist in the preparation of dermatopathology slides is to ensure that the entire area of skin which may contain pathology is represented in the final microscope slide.

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Silver Stains

In the histology world, the mere mention of a “silver stain” may be the cause of panic and uncertainty with regard to the performance of the stain, and the quality of the final resulting microscope slide. All other special stains, with few exceptions, are relatively easy and straightforward to perform; not so with silver stains.

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Microscopes

Microscopes

The great grandfather of the modern light microscope is considered to be Anthony van Leeuwenhoek in 1674, a little more than 500 years ago. Even though Robert Hooke hand shaved thin slices of cork to view under a magnifying glass in 1665, and coined the word “cell”, Leeuwenhoek perfected the art of grinding and matching lenses to be able to visualize individual cells and bacteria in water droplets, which he called “animalcules”. Leeuwenhoek’s optical principles have stood the test of time, and have provided the basis for the light microscopes that we use today.

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Bone Specimens

Bone is a dynamic, living tissue. New bone is made by osteoblasts located on the surface of newly formed bone. The most recent material is not mineralized and is referred to as the osteoid seam. This material is mineralized later to form mature bone. Osteoclasts are also located on the bone surface. These are large, multinucleated cells responsible for “eating up” mature bone to release calcium into the blood stream. If the balance between these two bone cell types is disturbed, disease may result. Osteoporosis is a disease where the osteoclast activity outpaces the osteoblast activity; weak, porotic bones prone to breakage, can result (Figure 2).

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Bar Code Tracking in Histology

Specimen volumes continue to increase in both hospital and private pathology histology laboratories. Histology laboratories must adopt new procedures and strategies for managing this increasing volume of specimens to ensure the highest quality of patient care. Integration of new equipment and technologies for better management of all histology specimens is crucial.

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Stains for Microorganisms

Stains for Microorganisms

The staining of microorganisms in histology can be challenging. Filamentous fungi and associated conidia are more easily demonstrated as they are visible under light microscopy when stained with periodic acid Schiff’s (PAS) as in Figure 1. The diameter of fungi filaments is 5-10 microns, which is approximately the same as the diameter of a red blood cell, while their length may be hundreds of microns (Figure 2). Microorganisms are extremely small and are at the limit of resolution of the light microscope. Viruses are even smaller (Figure 3).

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Histology Safety 102: The Laboratory Standard Part 2

Histology Safety 102: The Laboratory Standard Part 2

The histology laboratory is a dangerous place to work for employees. Sharp knives, slick floors, hazardous chemicals and bloodborne pathogens are just the main sources of potential accidents. A way to keep histology laboratory employees safe is to provide information on dangers, explain the ways in which employees can protect themselves, and provide annual training to reinforce this information. This is not just a good plan. In most instances, this plan is backed by laws and regulations. The previous two blogs set the regulatory background for this safety discussion. This blog will go into the specific, day to day actions that can be implemented to help ensure histology employee safety.

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Histology Safety 102: The Laboratory Standard Part 1

The histology laboratory is a dangerous place to work for employees. Sharp knives, slick floors, hazardous chemicals and bloodborne pathogens are just the main sources of potential accidents. A way to keep histology laboratory employees safe is to provide information on dangers, explain the ways in which employees can protect themselves, and provide annual training to reinforce this information. This is not just a good plan. In most instances, this plan is backed by laws and regulations. This current series of blogs will delve into the various regulations, and how laboratories need to be in compliance in order to keep employees safe.

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Histology Safety 101 – Formaldehyde

Histology Safety 101 – Formaldehyde

The histology laboratory is a dangerous place to work for employees. Sharp knives, slick floors, hazardous chemicals and bloodborne pathogens are just the main sources of potential accidents. A way to keep histology laboratory employees safe is to provide information on dangers, explain the ways in which employees can protect themselves, and provide annual training to reinforce this information. This is not just a good plan. In most instances, this plan is backed by laws and regulations. This current series of blogs will delve into the various regulations, and how laboratories need to be in compliance in order to keep employees safe.

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