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Question about Bouins fixative for testis biopsy from Fred Askin;  May 2015

  1. For 2 years and whenever there was sufficient tissue, at the Cancer Institute of Milan they split the sample into two halves and fixed one in conventional buffered formalin and the other half in Bouin. At the end of the experiment they concluded that Bouin-fixed tissue looked better than formalin-fixed tissue in the H&E preparations,and that Bouin was compatible with most immunostains, but that it did not work for most of the molecular genetic tests they performed. In view of these results, they gave up on Bouin and went back to the old formalin.
Prof. Juan Rosai
Centro Consulenze Anatomia Patologica Oncologica Centro Diagnostico Italiano (CDI) Via Saint Bon,20
20147 Milano



  1. At UConn, We use 10% formalin. Bouin,s allow better resolution of chromatin. Doesn’t interfere with IHC.

Faripour Forouhar


  1. Having used bouins at Penn for a number of years (but no longer for a while now) ihc is usually fine and sometimes better but tissue is not usable for molecular

    Kathy Montone


  1. Fixative type, fixation time and tissue processing can affect the performance characteristics of IHC assays. It may be prudent that each lab individually investigate whether Bouin's fixation would interfere with IHC stains.  

In general, antibody validation should be carried out using tissues that are identical to patient test specimens. As per CAP guidelines for IHC assays (Arch Pathol Lab Med. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2013-0610-CP) it is reasonable to test a select panel of common markers to show that specimens processed differently exhibit equivalent immunoreactivity (see also ANP.22550). Additionally, if needed, any required modification to IHC staining protocols for tissues other than formalin-fixed needs to be properly documented (see ANP.22300). 

    Javier Laurini    javierlaurini@gmail.com


  1. At Cedars-Sinai we get <10 Bouins-fixed specimens a year. The IHC works fine. We have not attempted molecular studies.

David Frishberg