Paraffin embedding of small, thin tissue samples requires specific expertise for optimal orientation before tissue sectioning. This study evaluates the real-life utility of the agar pre-embedding technique for small skin biopsies with regards to lengthening of work times, problems in orientation (re-embedding) and ancillary techniques (immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation) between two high work flow pathology laboratories, one of which routinely uses the agar pre-embedding technique and one which does not. The mean time required for pre-embedding in agar was 30.4 s, but time for paraffin embedding for agar pre-embedded samples was shorter than the traditional method (177 vs 296 s; p<0.005). The number of skin samples requiring re-embedding was significantly higher with the traditional embedding method (p<0.005). No problems in immunoreactivity were observed in all 1900 reactions performed with 17 different antibodies. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation analysis was optimised with a prolonged protease K incubation time (21 vs 18 min).
- in situ hybridisation
- laboratory management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine