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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.

NOTE: No responsibility is assumed by The University of Nottingham or the Queens Medical Centre NHS Trust for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein. It is the users responsibilty to ensure that all procedures are carried out according to appropriate Health and Safety requirements.

© Copyright 1997 University of Nottingham Medical School Division of Histopathology. This page was last built on Mon, May 5, 1997 with Frontier. Thanks for looking in. Comments to