Tissue that is not fully decalcified is as common as tissue that is over-decalcified. However, inadequate decalcification prior to processing can often be remedied by surface decalcification of the embedded tissue block.
Characteristics of inadequate decalcification include:
- Driven by rapid turnaround time in laboratories
- Inaccurate determination of end-point
- Decal solution is too slow or too weak - choose stronger solution for rapid turnaround
- Leads to poor microtomy sections or tissue pops out of block
- Calcium that is not removed stains dark blue with the H&E stain and may hinder diagnosis
- Surface decalcification can be used in these instances to improve microtomy and staining results