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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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What is Tissue Histology?

Tissue histology is tissue morphology. This means that a histologist will examine all tissue samples grossly. All tissue has a definite “normal” appearance as seen inside and outside its normal environment. This tissue must be described as color, shape, and size before it can be processed for microscopic evaluation. This description (morphology) is part of the tissue histology. The second part is the microscopic description (morphology) of the tissue after it has been stained. The typical stain done on all tissues is the hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). This shows the basic structure of the tissue. All tissue components that are basophilic are stained with eosin and will have a pink hue. All the tissue components that are acidophilic are stained purplish blue with the hematoxylin. These are typically the nuclei that turn blue. This stain allows the identification of a particular tissue type, (muscle, lung, and so on). The examination and description of the microscopic structures constitutes the tissue histology.

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What is a Histology Slide?

In order to study tissue under a microscope, that tissue must be very thin.  Most of the tissue to be studied is cut below 15 microns (um).  A micron is 1/1000 of a millimeter.  Actually 15 microns in histology is considered thick.  Routine paraffin and cryosections are cut at 5 microns.  This is typically 2-3 cell layers thick.  After it is cut, the sections are placed on top of a glass microscope slide.  The slide usually has some kind of adhesive to keep the tissue from falling off.  The slide is then dried in a 60C oven or left overnight.  This ensures no water will be on the slide or tissue.  It is then dipped in a series of chemicals to stain the tissue and make it permanent for later viewing under a microscope. It is this final product that is considered a histology slide.

 

An expert Histology Service