Lege Artis Medicinae

[A popular error of histochemistry seems to be change]

BÉLY Miklós, KRUTSAY Miklós

JANUARY 20, 2013

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2013;23(01)

[In medical practice there are a number of “truths etched in stone” that are passed on from textbook to textbook and learned by generations before they become obsolete. This short study aims to eliminate a misbelief from the diagnosis of gout that is related to the histological detectability of urate deposits. According to the generally accepted thesis, urate crystals obtained from patients with gout are dissolved in formalin solution, therefore, tissue samples should be fixated in alcohol. The authors have found that urate crystals can be detected on conventionally mounted, native (unstained) sections, despite formalin fixation, whereas the great majority of urate crystals are dissolved during haematoxylin-eosin staining. Therefore, for the detection of urate crystals the tissue samples should be examined on native, unstained sections.]

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[The authors studied the solubility of urate crystals in alcohol, in an 8% aqueous solution of formaldehyde and in acetone, respectively. The urate crystals were least soluble in alcohol. In comparison, the amount of urate crystals decreased in the aqueous solution of formaldehyde, which confirmed the suggestion of our predecessors that tissues suspected to contain urate crystals should be fixed in alcohol. Urate crystals dissolved in greatest amounts in acetone. Acetone is widely used by histological laboratories for dehydration of tissue blocks before embedding them in paraffin, which, in case of fixation in aqueous formaldehyde, contributes to the dissolution of urate crystals. In our earlier studies, we found that dissolution of urate crystals from haematoxylineosin stained sections is caused by the staining of nuclei in haematoxylin, therefore urate crystals are preferably demonstrated in unstained tissue sections.]

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[In medical practice there are a number of “truths etched in stone” that are passed on from textbook to textbook and learned by generations before they become obsolete. This short study aims to eliminate a misbelief from the diagnosis of gout that is related to the histological detectability of urate deposits. According to the generally accepted thesis, urate crystals obtained from patients with gout are dissolved in formalin solution, therefore, tissue samples should be fixated in alcohol. The authors have found that urate crystals can be detected on conventionally mounted, native (unstained) sections, despite formalin fixation, whereas the great majority of urate crystals are dissolved during haematoxylin-eosin staining. Therefore, for the detection of urate crystals the tissue samples should be examined on native, unstained sections.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Gout]

MITUSZOVA Mila

[In spite of our increasing knowledge about the pathomechanism, clinical classification and therapy of gout as well as the improving care of gouty patients, many problems of the field are unsettled. Among others, the atypical character of female gout, its more frequent occurrence in elderly women, the often aggressive character of the cyclosporin-induced gout belongs to the unanswered questions. Understanding the role of crystals covered by proteins (mostly IgG) in the induction of inflammation was of great importance, however, the changing character of inflammation caused by intraarticular MNU-crystal deposition is still a challenging problem. It is well known, that not all gouty patients are middle aged males, the number of young, drug-resistant gouty males having extensive tophi is increasing. Although the relationship between hyperuricemia and gout was clarified in many respect, it would be important to understand why chronic hyperuricemia is not associated regularly with gout and why gout can develop in patients without high serum uric acid levels. We learned finally, that early diagnosis and adequate treatment of gouty attacks and the therapy resulting in the decrease of high level of serum uric acid are prerequisites for slowing down the progres sion of the gout and for the prevention of its complications. ]