scientificprotocols authored over 7 years ago

Author: University of Nottingham Medical School Division of Histopathology


Many surgical specimens contain calcified areas which need to be decalcified before processing and sectioning. This is achieved as follows.

  1. When the specimen is sufficiently fixed the selected tissue is placed into a labelled pot of 8% formic acid and left on the shelf in cut-up till the following day.
  2. Each day thereafter the tissue is assessed until it is deemed soft enough to section after processing.
  3. If it is not ready, the decalcifying fluid is changed and the pot is replaced onto the shelf for a further 24 hours.
  4. This procedure is repeated daily until decalcification is complete.

Note: it is possible to test biochemically for calcium in solution to assess endpoint of decalcification. This is not done routinely.


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