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Melanin or Melanoma?

Human skin (melanoma?) H&E

Melanoma, a heightened subject that should be talked about with, everyone?  How do you tell the difference between melanin and melanoma?  Research facilities are currently exploring this topic and it’s treatment.  But we do know the primary cause, too much UV rays.  The pathologist can see the difference between melanin and melanoma an H&E stained section, can you?.  Here are some examples.

For the rest of us, melanoma is better detected by antibody staining (IHC).  There are a few different antibodies, MART1, Melan, HMB but all I have is Granzyme B.

What do you think?

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Ovarian Carcinoma

In this tissue, it’s diagnosis is ovarian carcinoma.  It’s stained with H&E and pictures taken at multiple areas.  Some (not posted here) look to have melanin deposits but that will have to be discovered using different staining techniques and will update again here.

Enjoy!

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Abnormal Tissue Identification

For us in histology, normal tissue identification is typically an easy process.  As histologists, we were once required to identify all normal tissues by H&E under the microscope.

For abnormal tissue however, an H&E stained slide can be very difficult to identify tissue type and diagnosis.  That’s why when a pathologist orders multiple stains on one tissue, they are trying to get a larger picture to understand its etiology.

To help in understanding, here are 3 stains on the same tissue, H&E, SMA, & CD8 at 4x & 10x.  This is human tissue.  Can you identify this tissue and its diagnosis?

 

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I’ll give you choices.

A. Lung – Spindle cell carcinoma

B. Liver – Cirrhosis

C. Colon – Adenocarcinoma

D. Heart – Myocardial fibrosis

 

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Making Solutions With Ease

One of the first things I ask my new students and interns to make is solutions.  I ask them a simple question that I think they should know, how do you make a 1% solution of “?” for a total of 100 ml?  This is something that has perplexed many students and histology co-workers (What?) for years.  Most of them just over think the solution and fumble through to the correct answer.  Some however, truly do not know how to do it.  It is a skill that many lab oriented companies wish for.  Many see a sheer number of students hired with a 4 year degree from all types of colleges that cannot do basic math.  So, now I offer the question to you.  Can you solve this puzzle?