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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154-157

In search of the rainbow: Colored inks in surgical pathology


Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai 400 050, India

Correspondence Address:
Chandralekha Tampi
Consultant Histopathologist, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Bandra West, Mumbai 400 050
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.97843

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Introduction: Although surgical pathologists are aware of the multiple advantages that coloured inks contribute to surgical pathology practice, these coloured inks are not available in India and importing them is not a viable proposition. A systematic search for locally available coloring agents was done, and resulted in identifying specific shades within a popular set of children's hobby colors of a particular brand. They retain their bright distinct colors on paraffin blocks and sections. These paints are available all over India, and are cheap, safe, and easy to use. Coloring gross specimen excision margins with different colors, adds precision to margin examination. It allows three-dimensional microscopic reconstruction of the tumor vis-a-vis its various neighboring anatomic structures. It allows postoperative comparison of tissue planes predicted by preoperative imaging. It maintains orientation of grossed and dissected specimens, enabling the pathologist to re-visit the grossed specimen, if required, and confidently allows further sampling if necessary. Aim: A systematic search for indigenous coloring agents was carried out, which included the dyes used in the histopathology laboratory, gelatin, commercially available paints, including acrylic paints and inks. Results: The study identified specific shades within a brand of acrylic colors that are easily available and simple to use, with good results on microscopic examination. Conclusion: Colored inks lend precision to margin examination. A set of easily procurable colors are available in our country, which are easy to use, with distinct bright colors, safe, and reliable.


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