Context: Use of diluted dish washing solution (DWS) has been experimented successfully as a substitute for xylene to deparaffinize tissue sections during hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) staining.
Aims: (1) Test the hypothesis that xylene- and methanol-free sections (XMF) deparaffinized with diluted DWS are better than or at par with conventional H and E sections. (2) To compare the efficacy of xylene-free sections with the conventional H and E sections.
Settings and design: Single blinded experimental study.
Materials and methods: Sixty paraffin blocks were considered. One section was stained with conventional H and E method (Group A) and the other with XMF H and E (Group B). Slides were scored for parameters; nuclear staining, cytoplasmic staining (adequate = score1, inadequate = score0), uniformity, clarity, crispness (present = score1, absent = score0). Score >/= 2 was inadequate for diagnosis and 3-5 was adequate for diagnosis.
Statistical analysis used: Z test.
Results: Adequate nuclear staining, 96.66% sections in group A and 98.33% in Group B (Z = 0.59, P>0.05); adequate cytoplasmic staining, 93.33% in group A and 83.33% in Group B (Z = 1.97, P<0.05); uniform staining, 70% in group A, 50% in group B (Z = 1.94, P<0.05), clarity present in 85% of group A, 88.33% of group B sections (Z = 0.27, P>0.05), crisp staining in 76.66% in group A and 83.33% in Group B (Z = 1.98, P<0.05), 88.33% Group A sections stained adequately for diagnosis as compared with 90% in Group B (Z = 0.17, P>0.05).
Conclusion: Xylene- and methanol-free H and E staining is a better alternative to the conventional H and E staining procedure.
Keywords: Deparaffinization; eosin; hematoxylin; liquid dish washing soap; xylene-free staining.