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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Troubleshooting Guidance for Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) Stain. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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The cracking of the stroma here illustrates the drying caused by overprocessing.

Choosing Processing Protocols that are Appropriate for your Tissues

As tissue processors continue to evolve, so must our processing techniques. Processing protocol times are becoming more streamlined to meet the needs of patients by creating efficiencies in processing. For this reason, putting all samples together on the same protocol is no longer reasonable. Small samples placed on an overnight protocol will become over dehydrated, making sectioning difficult. Soaking may help, but often the tissue will show excessive cracking. Large samples placed on a protocol more appropriate for biopsies will be under dehydrated and will be unlikely to be sectioned until appropriate processing has been completed.
The image below shows the compression of under processed tissues. Note how the center of the slide on the left is missing, indicating that the sample was not properly infiltrated.