Electrolytic Method for Processing Coronary Arteries Containing Stents
SH Bradshaw, JP Veinot, LA Kennedy, DF Dexter. Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada; The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Background: Due to its hardness, sectioning through a stent using conventional methods causes significant damage to and/or loss of native morphology of the underlying tissue. Current specialized methods exist for making thick and thin sections through metal implants, however they are expensive, time consuming, and require a high degree of operator skill. In addition, cutting artifacts and undesirably thick microscopic sections are common. A novel electrochemical method is described and tested, which addresses these difficulties.
Design: A positive voltage was attached to a stent imbedded in formalin fixed tissue, which was then suspended in a grounded electrolytic solution. The stent dissolved over a time interval of 5 to 30 minutes, after which the tissue was sectioned. Residual small metallic fragments were removed as required. The resulting sections were processed according to standard histological techniques.
Results: Sixteen stents were dissolved using this electrolytic process. These included 316L stainless steel and Cobalt-Chromium core materials, as well as drug eluting and bare metal stents. The underlying tissue was preserved, and histological sections obtained, including H&E, Movat (figure 1), and several immunohistochemical stains. The sections were compared to those obtained from previous processing methodologies.
Conclusions: The electrolytic stent removal process was applied successfully to a broad range of stents, representing the majority of stent designs encountered in practice. Histological sections obtained compared favorably to those obtained with previous processing methodologies. Other improvements over previous methods include low cost, short processing time, short operator time, low skill level required, increased consistency of results, and compact size.
Monday, March 9, 2009 9:30 AM
Poster Session I Stowell-Orbison/Autopsy Award # 57, Monday Morning