B5 Fixative

1. Indications. Preserves excellent nuclear details, particularly in lymph node pathology. Autolytic changes in autopsy specimens are not reversed.

2. Composition. Stock solution: 5 g sodium acetate, 24 g mercuric chloride, 360 mL distilled water.

Heat until crystals dissolve, let stand for 24 h and filter into brown glass bottle. Prepare fixative just before use, by mixing: 45 mL stock solution, 5 mL concentrated formalin (see below).

3. Procedure. Fix slices not thicker than 3 mm. Transfer slices after 90-120 min into buffered formalin to avoid overfixation causing the tissue to shrink and become brittle. Because of its mercury content, special disposal procedures must be followed.

4. Storage. Fixed tissue should be stored in buffered formalin (see below).

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