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.
- 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.
- Each day thereafter the tissue is assessed until it is deemed soft enough to section after processing.
- If it is not ready, the decalcifying fluid is changed and the pot is replaced onto the shelf for a further 24 hours.
- 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.